Though entering the final game of the Sonoma County League season knowing the outcome wouldn’t change their second-place status and second-seeding for the postseason SCL Tournament, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball girls still had some unfinished business at hand in the form of a payback.
In Friday evening’s senior night and regular-season finale in Pfeiffer Gym, the Lady Dragons faced SCL champion Analy without the services of junior standout Delaney Swanson, sidelined with a possible minor concussion, but they still were determined to avenge their first-game loss between the two longtime rivals.
Sonoma was undefeated heading into the first showdown last month, but struggled without its best player, junior Mackenzie Albrecht, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and lost a game that eventually cost it a title as the visiting Tiger girls kept on winning.
Without their top two all-around players, Sonoma battled through offensive woes with tough-minded defense behind an outstanding effort from junior center Ciara Smith, who ended up setting a new school girls’ record with a jaw-dropping 15 blocked shots, and trailed just 25-23 after three quarters.
But, with their scoring problems continuing, the Lady Dragons faded in the fourth quarter and Analy ended up winning 37-25 to go undefeated in SCL play after 12 games.
Before Friday’s varsity tipoff, Sonoma honored its three seniors Maddie Burningham, Giana Monterosso and Megan Neely.
Finishing with a 9-3 SCL second-place, the Lady Dragons are second-seeded for the annual postseason SCL Tournament and they will host third-seeded Petaluma in the tourney opener at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Pfeiffer Gym.
The winner will face the top-seeded Analy versus fourth-seeded Healdsburg victor in the SCL Tourney title game at the higher seed’s gym.
Pacing Sonoma in Friday night’s loss to Analy were Smith’s three points and double-double of 15 blocks and 12 rebounds; Neely’s six points, seven rebounds and two blocks; junior Alexa Hall’s six points; junior Shelby Camilleri’s four points, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks; Monterosso’s two points and three rebounds; junior Sierra Lilly’s three points; and sophomore Bella Bollman’s one point, three assists and two steals.
Sonoma’s junior varsity girls wrapped up their season Friday night with a 49-34 victory over Analy for an SCL undefeated 12-0 first-place record and finished the season with an outstanding 19-3 overall mark.
Leading the Lady Dragon jayvees were sophomore Jenny Eggers’ 13 points, sophomore Renee O’Donnell’s 10, freshman Grace Cutting’s eight, sophomore Emma Stanfield’s six, frosh Kayla Field’s four, sophomore Rocky Darnell and frosh Katie Stovall’s three apiece, and frosh Alanna Johnston’s two.
Rounding out the SCL jayvee champion Sonoma girls’ roster, coached by Jann Thorpe, were sophomores Sami Von Gober and Annie Greenslade.