After a Sonoma County League second-place finish and a postseason SCL Tournament opening-round loss play adding up to a 14-13 overall record, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity girls’ basketball team received the 11th seed in a 12-team field for the North Coast Section Division-3 playoffs.
Because of the stunning disqualification of state Division-3 and five-time defending NCS champion Bishop O’Dowd for playing one game over the maximum 26-game schedule, all teams moved up in the seeding order and the 11th-seeded Lady Dragons will have to play on the road against an all-too-familiar SCL rival, Petaluma.
Leading Sonoma against the sixth-seeded Trojan girls in tonight’s 7 p.m. NCS opener in Petaluma are standout juniors Delaney Swanson and Ciara Smith, who, on Sunday, received SCL all-league first-team honors.
Swanson is a repeat SCL first-team selection, while Smith is a first-year all-leaguer.
For the Lady Dragons (14-13 record) and Petaluma (18-10), tonight’s showdown in the NCS first-round will be their fourth clash this season, with Sonoma winning the first regular-season meeting at home, then falling to the Trojan girls in both the second seasonal game away, and the tourney opener in Pfeiffer Gym.
Whoever wins this evening will play third-seeded Campolindo (DFAL, 16-10) in Friday evening’s, Feb. 28, quarterfinals in Moraga.
Rounding out the NCS Division-3 opening-round matchups, with Campolindo, top-seeded Miramonte (DFAL, 25-1), second-seeded Encinal (WACC-S, 19-6) and fourth-seeded San Marin (MCAL, 18-10) receiving first-round byes, are fifth-seeded SCL champion Analy (17-10) hosting 12th-seeded Albany (TCAL-S, 10-10); seventh-seeded Tamalpais (MCAL, 16-11) facing 10-seeded John F. Kennedy (TCAL-S, 20-8); and eighth-seeded Hercules (TCAL-S, 17-10) playing ninth-seeded Pinole Valley (TCAL-R, 17-10).