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Dragon boys bow to Prospectors

Sonoma’s Cyle Gusse (middle), who leads the team in blocked shots and had two blocks of his own, has his shot blocked during the Dragon boys’ SCL loss to Piner last Thursday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/ Index-Tribune

Sonoma’s Cyle Gusse (middle), who leads the team in blocked shots and had two blocks of his own, has his shot blocked during the Dragon boys’ SCL loss to Piner last Thursday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/ Index-Tribune

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Riding a three-game winning streak to start the Sonoma County League season, with all the victories coming on the road, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball boys returned home to Pfeiffer Gym last Thursday evening to face their first challenge against one of the SCL’s top-level teams.

Falling into a five-point hole after the first quarter, and trailing 26-20 at the break, the Dragons took the court in the third quarter determined to turn the tide and battled Piner point for point through the second half.

Despite an evenly played final two quarters, Sonoma, unfortunately, couldn’t make up any ground on the visiting Prospectors, who held on to their claim of the lead down the stretch and escaped the Valley with a 52-45 win.

“We had a problem with defensive containment in the first half, but made some adjustments at halftime. We had a good run in the second half, but could not make the plays down the stretch,” said Sonoma coach Dennis Housman. “We are making positive strides as we came out and competed against one of the top teams in our league.”

Pacing the Sonoma boys were senior Jesse Summers’ 17 points and three rebounds; junior Cyle Gusse’s 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks; senior Jack Murphy’s nine points, four rebounds and four assists; senior Vinny Albano’s four points and four rebounds; senior Andy Chavez and junior Alex Gustafson’s two points each; junior Ryan Wilbanks’ four rebounds; and junior Tristan Mertens’ three assists.

The Dragons host two more tough SCL foes this week, with Elsie Allen coming to town tonight, and defending champion Analy arriving Thursday, Jan. 23, with the freshmen starting at 4:30, the junior varsity at 6, and the varsity at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

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Sonoma’s jayvee hoops boys racked up a second straight SCL win last Thursday by defeating visiting Piner 62-48.

Leading the Dragon jayvees were sophomore Spencer McNairy’s 18 points and two steals; sophomore Kevin Hurtado’s double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists, two steals and two blocks; sophomore Edwin Reyes’ 12 points, three steals and two assists; sophomore Max Yankovich’s 11 points, four rebounds and four steals; and sophomore Travis Claeys’ eight points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.

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Sonoma’s frosh hoops boys found themselves engaged in a tight game last Thursday that went down to the wire before visiting Piner pulled out a 44-42 win.

Pacing the frosh Dragons were Colton Mertens’ 13 points, Eric Bailey’s 12, Luke Severson’s 10 and Andrew Toovey’s eight.