After a late surge won their Dragon Classic opener, and after being forced into overtime to earn a semifinal victory, Sonoma Valley High School’s varsity basketball girls knew they were going to have to step up their game if they wanted to claim their own tournament’s crown.
In Saturday’s Dragon Classic championship showdown in Pfeiffer Gym, the Lady Dragons had to contend with a competitive and cohesive Northgate team that easily defeated defending champion Montgomery in its opener, and Analy in the semifinals.
Managing to limit the turnovers that have so far plagued the offense, Sonoma battled through an evenly played first quarter and forged a 14-14 standoff early in the second period.
When Northgate turned up the defensive pressure, forcing 12 turnovers in the second and third quarters building a 35-26 advantage and looking to pull away, the Lady Dragons fought back in the fourth period to within two possessions of the lead before their rally fell short, and the title slipped their grasp by a 48-40 margin.
For their standout, all-around play in helping Sonoma defeat Terra Linda 66-49 in the first round, and upend Menlo-Atherton 51-46 in an overtime semifinal, before being edged in the championship game, junior forward Mackenzie Albrecht and sophomore point guard Bella Bollman receive all-tourney honors.