High school girls basketball: Petaluma captures 3rd SCL tournament title in a row

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Petaluma girls basketball team held off the Sonoma Valley Dragons to win its third straight Sonoma County League Tournament championship, 37-33, Thursday night in Sonoma.

The Dragons worked their way inside, gaining an 11-4 lead in the first quarter, but they couldn’t hold onto their early lead.

The Trojans weren’t playing to their own potential in the first quarter, said Petaluma head coach Janelle Lombardi Robello.

“We started to go back to the fundamentals of what works really well for us and they bought into it,” she said.

Olivia Baldwin posted 10 of her 18 points in the first half to help the Trojans close the deficit to one point at halftime.

“Olivia has stepped up big the last few games,” Robello said. “She’s really coming into her own.”

Cassie Baddeley hit a 3-pointer, and buckets from Joelle Krist and Baldwin within the first minute of the second half gave Petaluma the momentum that it needed.

“As soon as we scored those quick points in the third quarter,” Baldwin said, “we knew we could do this.”

Taking away key players early in the game, like Krist, throws a wrench in the game plan, Robello said, but being able to adjust to that adversity is what makes her so successful.

“Once she gets in the groove of it, it’s like ‘all right, I’ll go ahead and change it up now,’ ” Robello said.

Krist recorded her her 1,000th career point Thursday, and said she didn’t even know she was that close.

“I had no idea,” she said. “I’m pretty excited.”

Krist finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Emily Corda added a bucket to seal the win over host Sonoma Valley. Allison Scranton snagged six rebounds.

“It’s always tough playing at Sonoma,” Robello said, “because they have our number and they can play us very tough defensively.”

The Dragons were led by Sami Von Grober and Bella Bollman, as they finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

Renee O’Donnell recorded five points, while Alexa Hall and Emma Stanfield added four points apiece. Stanfield also pulled down eight rebounds.

Jenny Eggers added three points and four rebounds for Sonoma Valley as it dropped to 22-6 overall and 11-3 in the SCL.

Petaluma improved its record to 21-6 overall and 11-2 in conference play, which is just the motivation the Trojans need, Krist said, as both teams look ahead to the postseason.

“The momentum will help us a lot,” she said.

Petaluma’s SCL tournament win followed similar titles in 2013 and 2014, and Baldwin said it was exciting to be able to continue the tradition this season.

“We really needed this as a confidence booster,” Baldwin said. “It’s pretty satisfying to know our program can stand strong over the years.”