In a quick turnaround Sonoma County League rematch last Thursday night in Sebastopol, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball boys knew they needed to up their game at both ends of the court, while getting off to a good start to have any chance pulling an upset of first-place defending champion Analy.
After getting outplayed from the opening tip to the final whistle in their first-meeting, the Dragons came out in their final regular-season meeting with an Analy team that is unbeaten in SCL play, and played with a defensive purpose that yielded only 14 first-half points.
But at the other end of the court, Sonoma’s offense couldn’t meet the challenge and produce a lead, tallying only 11 points by the half and enabling the Tigers to regroup at the break and forge a 36-14 second-half run en route to their 50-24 series-sweeping win.
Pacing Sonoma were junior Tristan Mertens’ nine points, senior Jesse Summers’ six, junior Ryan Fisher’s five, junior Cyle Gusse’s two and senior Jack Murphy and junior Alex Gustafson’s one each.
The Dragons, with a third-place record of 4-3, will face three SCL opponents this week, first hosting El Molino at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Pfeiffer Gym – freshmen start at 4:30, junior varsity at 6 p.m. – then traveling to Santa Rosa to battle second-place Piner Thursday, Feb. 6, before hosting Healdsburg Saturday, Feb. 8.