NCS girls basketball roundup: Short-handed Panthers fall to Clayton Valley 67-63

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa High, forced to play without center Devin Murray, turned in a valiant effort in Concord Friday night but lost to Clayton Valley Charter, 67-63, in NCS Division 1 quarterfinal play.

Murray, the Panthers’ leading rebounder and one of the team’s top scoring threats, missed the game after displaying concussion symptoms in practice Thursday.

Murray has a concussion history and missed a portion of the season. She’d been cleared to return earlier this month.

“We missed her big time and the girls tried to overcome that by playing with a lot of heart,” coach Jim Gomes said.

Santa Rosa climbed back into the game after a slow start and trailed by two with three minutes remaining.

Clayton Valley, the No. 3 seed, began quickly and led 14-7 after one quarter.

“They were hot from the start and we were a little tentative,” Gomes said. “We were rushing on our shots.”

The Panthers got into the flow of the game in the second quarter as they scored 21 points. In the period, Kylie Oden drained three 3-point shots and Emily Codding made two from beyond the arc.

Trailing 35-28 at intermission, No. 6 Santa Rosa closed the gap to two heading to the final quarter.

Oden was the game’s top scorer with 24. Codding finished with 18 while Mareya Lopez contributed 11.

Hailey Pascal had 22 for Clayton Valley Charter.

Santa Rosa, runner-up in the North Bay League, has a 21-9 record. Clayton Valley, champs of the Diablo Valley, will take a 24-6 mark into Wednesday’s semifinals against Berkeley.

In other NCS action Friday:

DUBLIN 70, MONTGOMERY 38

At Dublin, the No. 2 seeded home team led the Division 2 game 46-16 at halftime.

“They jumped on us early,” Vikings coach Steve Bell said. “They’re tall and talented, just a very good team.”

Montgomery didn’t get to double figures in the second and third quarters.

Abby Lea (15) and Shayla Newman (14) led No. 7 Montgomery in scoring. Newman, who is a freshman, also grabbed 13 rebounds.

Lea is one of two seniors on the team. The other is Sarah Iroz.

“Both players had excellent seasons,” Bell said. “They are our captains and I couldn’t ask for better leadership. They exemplify what we want Montgomery basketball to stand for.”

Montgomery ends the season with a 14-15 mark while Dublin moves on to the semifinals with a 24-3 record. The Gaels finished second in the Diablo Foothill League while the Vikings were the fourth-place finisher in the NBL.

CARONDELET 71, UKIAH 32

At Concord, the host Cougars ended the first period of the Division 2 game with a 20-0 run.

“We were down 6-5 when they went on the run,” Wildcats coach Dave Downey said. “They shot lights out and we couldn’t recover after that.”

Carondelet, the top seed in Division 2, increased the lead to 48-19 by halftime.

“They’re a very good team,” Downey said. “It’s obvious why they got the No. 1 seed.”

Haylie Arnerich was Ukiah’s leading scorer with 12 points. Marcella Hughes scored 19 for Carondelet.

“Overall, we had a good season,” Downey said. “One of our goals was to improve over the previous season and we did that. We had two four-game losing streaks but we bounced back both times.”

Ukiah winds up 16-12 while the Cougars advance with a 26-2 record.