Ailing Sonoma can’t catch ’Hounds
Dragons boys at 1st-place Analy Wednesday, host Petaluma in finale Friday; JVs, frosh
Sonoma’s Vince Bruton (left, No. 10), Vincent Albano (front, No. 3) and Cyle Gusse (right) apply defensive pressure during the depleted, but battling, Dragons’ SCL loss to Healdsburg Friday night at Pfeiffer Gym.
With illness and injuries not only sidelining four players, but also benching their head coach, Sonoma Valley High School’s seven varsity basketball boys, who suited up for Friday night’s Sonoma County League clash with strong second-place Healdsburg at Pfeiffer Gym, stepped up and delivered an inspiring effort.
Facing the big “underdog” challenge of lacking team depth; the services of top scorer, junior Jesse Summers; and with hurting head coach Dennis Housman sitting with a torn achilles tendon he sustained hooping it with his depleted team in order to hold practice the night before, the Dragons fell behind 17-11 after the first quarter.
Determined to not let the visiting Greyhounds pull away, the Sonoma cagers kept their deficit in single figures (37-29) at the half, and, despite trailing 49-36 after three quarters, they rallied to open the fourth-quarter with a 9-4 run to make it a three-possession game.
But the tired Dragons started to fade as Healdsburg answered with a 9-0 run and escaped the Valley with a 68-59 win.
Pacing Sonoma were senior Vince Bruton’s double-double of 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot; sophomore Cyle Gusse’s 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and one block; sophomore Alex Gustafson’s nine points and three rebounds; junior Vincent Albano’s five points and six assists; junior Jack Murphy’s five points, four assists and two steals; and sophomore Ryan Wilbanks’ three points.
The Dragon boys travel to Sebastopol tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 6, to face SCL first-place Analy, and then will host longtime league rival Petaluma in their season finale this Friday, Feb. 8, in Pfeiffer Gym, with the junior varsity starting at 6, followed by the varsity tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
Before Friday’s varsity game, Sonoma will honor its lone senior, Bruton.