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Lady Dragons fall from SCL first

Junior Ciara Smith (back), seen grabbing a rebound over senior teammate Giana Monterosso (No. 11) and two Healdsburg opponents in Sonoma’s league victory last Wednesday in Pfeiffer Gym, blocked a jaw-dropping 10 shots during the Lady Dragons first SCL loss in Sebastopol Friday night, which gave winning Analy sole possession of first place. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Junior Ciara Smith (back), seen grabbing a rebound over senior teammate Giana Monterosso (No. 11) and two Healdsburg opponents in Sonoma’s league victory last Wednesday in Pfeiffer Gym, blocked a jaw-dropping 10 shots during the Lady Dragons first SCL loss in Sebastopol Friday night, which gave winning Analy sole possession of first place. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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In the wake of losing their standout all-league junior Mackenzie Albrecht to a shoulder injury and trying to remain undefeated in Sonoma County League play and stay atop the SCL standings, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball girls handled the first challenge by routing Healdsburg at home last Wednesday.

Despite the strong efforts of juniors Delaney Swanson and Ciara Smith, the Lady Dragons definitely showed signs of how much they missed their top scorer and all-around player in Friday night’s battle of SCL first-place unbeatens against Analy in Sebatopol.

With both teams sporting 5-0 records entering the final game of the first half of the 12-game SCL season, visiting Sonoma fell into an offensive deep freeze, which was compounded by turnovers  and enabled the Tiger girls to pull out a 42-28 win and sole possession of first place.

The Lady Dragons will have to quickly regroup if they want to stay within reach of overtaking Analy, because they have a rematch tomorrow night, Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Petaluma, with defending champion Petaluma, who they beat in their first meeting. The rematch is now a clash for SCL second place.

Sonoma was paced in its loss to Analy by Swanson’s double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with two blocked shots and two steals; Smith’s near triple-double of six points to go with 13 rebounds and an amazing 10 blocks, which is a possible girls’ school record (still being researched); junior Alexa Hall’s four points and four rebounds; senior Giana Monterosso’s three points, four rebounds and three steals; junior Hanna Lemaire’s two points and two steals; and senior Megan Neely’s one point, four rebounds and two steals.

“We had an absolutely dreadful shooting night and once again we kicked the ball around way too much. We can’t expect to win on the road with 22 turnovers, 22-percent shooting and 41 percent from the line,” said Sonoma head coach Sil Coccia.

After Wednesday’s second-place showdown in Petaluma to start the second-half of SCL action, the Lady Dragons travel to Forestville for a game with league foe El Molino this Friday night, Jan. 31.