Lady Dragons 3rd in own Classic
Ashe all-tourney, Monty takes title, Sonoma set for long road trip
Sonoma’s Gianna Monterosso (left, No. 11), Mackenzie Albrecht (white jersey, under ball) and Delaney Swanson (right) helped the Lady Dragons rout Terra Linda in last Thursday night’s opening round of the annual Dragon Classic in Pfeiffer Gym.
After an overwhelming opening-round triumph and heartbreaking semifinal defeat, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball girls overcame an anemic offensive start with tough defense and a determination to finish their own 17th annual Dragon Classic on an upbeat note, which they did, pulling away for a third-place victory.
In Saturday’s final day of the competitive three-day, eight-team tournament in Pfeiffer Gym, the Lady Dragons left buckets of points, and plenty of opportunities, close around the basket and at the free-throw line to pull away from East Bay foe Northgate, managing to muster just two first-quarter points and 11 at the half.
But implementing tough defense, Sonoma held the Northgate girls to only 14 first-half points, then went on a 16-4 run to end the third and begin the fourth periods, before coasting to a low-scoring 39-25 win and claiming the Dragon Classic’s third-place trophy.
Sonoma’s standout senior point guard Kendall Ashe earned all-tourney honors for her all-around play, while champion Montgomery’s Ashlee Wilson was named the Classic’s most valuable player, and teammate Kiana Hawkins the defensive MVP.
Playing in the Dragon Classic championship game on Saturday were semifinal winners San Marin, which nipped the Lady Dragons 41-40, and Montgomery, which defeated Northgate 44-22 and went on to win the tournament title by upending the Lady Mustangs 55-32.
Along with Ashe, the Sonoma varsity girl cagers – directed by head coach Sil Coccia and his assistant coaches Steve Semenero and Dino Minatta – consist of seniors Ali Romano and Ashley Vail; juniors Madi Burningham, Amanda Lacy, Gianna Monterosso and Megan Neely; and sophomores Mackenzie Albrecht, Alexa Hall and Delaney Swanson.
Leading the Lady Dragons past Northgate was the inside play of Albrecht, Swanson and Vail, who combined for 37 boards, including Albrecht’s 14 rebounds to go with eight points and two steals; Vail’s 12 rebounds and seven points; and Swanson’s 11 rebounds, nine points and two steals.
Sonoma was also led by Romano’s game-high 10 points to go with four rebounds; Ashe’s three points, four assists and two steals; Monterosso’s two points and five rebounds; and Neely’s three rebounds.
Last Thursday’s first-round action saw the Lady Dragons quickly take command at both ends of the court behind the all-around play of Ashe and Albrecht, and the scoring of Romano and Swanson, and built up 17-6 and 38-12 first-quarter and halftime leads, respectively.
Sonoma kept its big double-digit advantage over the Trojan girls through the third quarter and expanded on it down the fourth-period stretch en route to a one-sided 64-20 triumph.
Leading the Lady Dragons were Swanson’s game-high-tying 15 points to go with five rebounds and three steals; Romano’s game-high-tying 15 points and three rebounds; Ashe’s seven points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals; Albrecht’s six points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and one blocked shot; Lacy’s eight points; Neely’s five points, two steals and one block; Monterosso’s four points, four rebounds and two assists; Hall’s three points, three rebounds and two assists; and Burningham’s one point and three rebounds.
In Friday evening’s heartbreaking semifinal loss to San Marin, the Lady Dragons trailed 15-14 after the first-quarter and 24-23 at the half, before taking a 31-30 third-quarter lead.
But Sonoma couldn’t convert its up-close shots and free throws down the fourth-quarter stretch and the Lady Mustangs managed to gallop away with a 41-40 win.
Pacing the Lady Dragons were Ashe’s 12 points, three assists and three rebounds; Albrecht’s game-high 13 rebounds to go with nine points, two assists and two steals; Romano’s eight points, three rebounds and two steals; Hall’s five points, Swanson’s four and Monterosso’s two; and Vail’s three rebounds.
Final results from Thursday’s opening round included San Marin defeating Vintage 48-26; Northgate edging Analy 48-45; and Montgomery routing Menlo-Atherton 59-18.
Friday’s consolation bracket results had Vintage topple Terra Linda 50-21, and Analy upend Menlo-Atherton 52-30.
In Saturday’s seventh-place game, Menlo-Atherton defeated Terra Linda 46-17, while Analy beat Vintage 43-28 to win the consolation title.
The Lady Dragons begin a long, five-game, nonleague road trip tomorrow night, Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Napa.