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Lady Dragons rise past Healdsburg

Junior Delaney Swanson is fouled on her way to posting a double-double, including 22 rebounds, in leading the first-place Lady Dragons to an SCL victory over Healdsburg Wednesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Junior Delaney Swanson is fouled on her way to posting a double-double, including 22 rebounds, in leading the first-place Lady Dragons to an SCL victory over Healdsburg Wednesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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Unbeaten and sitting alone atop the SCL standings, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity girls’ basketball team was sent into a state of shock with the loss of its top player to a shoulder injury in Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Sonoma County League versus North Bay League Challenge on its home court.

After junior Mackenzie Albrecht, their top scorer and rebounder, got hurt falling to the floor – the extent of her injury and playing status wasn’t known at presstime – the stunned Sonoma girls couldn’t hang with Maria Carrillo (NBL) and dropped a 44-29 MLK Day decision.

But the SCL first-place Lady Dragons had no time to dwell on the Carrillo loss, because they had more important business at hand –  regrouping to play without the athletic ability and team leadership of Albrecht, and hosting league foe Healdsburg in Pfeiffer Gym Wednesday night.

With head coach Sil Coccia and assistants Dino Minatta and Sheila Brady making adjustments and challenging their players to step up without two of their fallen teammates – senior Maddie Burningham has a broken nose – Sonoma rode junior Delaney Swanson’s double-double to a 49-24 rout of the Greyhound girls.

Swanson led the way for the Lady Dragons with 13 points, a game-high 22 rebounds, and three steals and two assists; followed by junior Alexa Hall’s 13 points, four rebounds and three assists; junior Hanna Lemaire’s seven points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals; senior Giana Monterosso’s five points, nine rebounds, three steals and three assists; junior Ciara Smith’s four points, 11 rebounds and four blocks; senior Megan Neely’s three points, three rebounds and one block; junior Sierra Lilly’s two points and five steals; and sophomore Bella Bowman’s two points, two assists and two steals.

Sonoma was paced in its loss to Maria Carrillo by Hall’s nine points and six rebounds;  Albrecht’s eight points and five rebounds; Swanson’s six points, 12 rebounds, two steals and two assists; junior Shelby Camilleri’s three points; Monterosso’s two points and seven rebounds; Lilly’s one point; and Smith’s six rebounds and two blocks.

Along with the Sonoma versus Maria Carrillo Monday nightcap game, the other Martin Luther King Jr. Day SCL versus NBL Challenge Monday results from Pfeiffer Gym included Casa Grande (NBL) defeating Analy (SCL) 59-22; Rancho Cotate (NBL) beating Piner (SCL) 66-36; Windsor (NBL) topping Healdsburg (SCL) 55-26; Ukiah (NBL) downing Elsie Allen (SCL) 62-4; and Montgomery (NBL) edging Petaluma (SCL) 48-42.

The Lady Dragons now hit the SCL road for crucial back-to-back games against the two teams they’re battling in the title race, first venturing to Sebastopol for tonight’s showdown with co-first-place/second-place Analy, followed by a rematch at second-place defending champion Petaluma on Wednesday, Jan. 29. In their first meeting, Sonoma beat the Trojan girls.