Coming off a tough, cold-shooting Sonoma County League loss that dropped them into an SCL fourth-place finish, no matter the result of their final game, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball boys hoped to regain their offensive punch and end their regular season on an upbeat note.
Playing in front of a large and loud Pfeiffer Gym crowd on senior night last Thursday, the Dragons engaged in seesaw battle with longtime SCL rival Petaluma, first taking a 13-11 first-quarter advantage, then, after a halftime tie, scored the final six points of the third period, five by senior Andy Chavez, and had a 45-39 lead.
But Sonoma was again plagued by turnovers and missed easy scoring opportunities, which enabled the visiting Trojans to go on a 22-6 fourth-quarter run and escaped the Valley with a stunning 61-51 season-finale win.
Before last Thursday’s varsity tip-off, Sonoma honored its five seniors, including Chavez, Vinny Albano, Jack Murphy, Brian Ruiz and Jesse Summers.
In their loss to Petaluma, the Dragons were paced by Summers’ game-high 17 points to go with eight rebounds; junior Cyle Gusse’s 13 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks; Albano’s 10 points and six rebounds; Chavez’s five points and two assists; junior Alex Gustafson’s three points, four rebounds and two assist; and Murphy’s three points and four rebounds.
Rounding out the Sonoma varsity boys’ roster – directed by head coach Dennis Housman and assistant coaches Drue Jacobs and John Ratshin – are juniors Noe Baron, Thomas Crumly, Ryan Fisher, Tristan Mertens, Trevor Welch and Ryan Wilbanks.
With their 6-6 fourth-place record, the Dragons are the fourth-seed for the annual postseason SCL Tournament and will face the challenge of playing the top-seed, three-time champion Analy, in tonight’s 7 p.m. tourney opener in Sebastopol.
Sonoma’s junior varsity hoops could muster only one double-digit scoring quarter and ended up dropping a 44-26 season-ending decision to visiting Petaluma and finished the campaign with a 9-16 overall record and 6-6 SCL mark.
Pacing the Dragon jayvees were sophomore Spencer McNairy’s seven points; sophomore Max Yankovich’s four points and six rebounds; sophomore Kevin Hurtado’s four points and five rebounds; sophomore Joe Petersen’s four points; sophomore Edwin Reyes’ two points and four assists; sophomore Miles Pimentel’s two points and two assists; sophomore Blake Nichols two points; junior Christian Jimenez’s one point; and sophomore Travis Claeys’ five rebounds.
Rounding out the Sonoma jayvee boys’ roster, coached by Lee Cambra, were sophomores Austin Chapin and Freddie Padilla.
Sonoma’s freshman hoops boys were topped 64-46 by visiting Petaluma in their season finale, which was only their second loss in the last eight games.
The frosh Dragons were paced by Shane O'Malley’s 14 points, Eric Bailey’s nine, and Colton Mertens and Japhy Koch’s eight each.
Rounding out the Sonoma frosh boys’ roster, coached by Jon Sevenau, were McGuire Flaherty, Nazir Lyle, Miles Marsh, Campbell Martin, Jordan Randuch, Luke Severson and Andrew Toovey.