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Sonoma’s strong surge strands Lions

Junior Alex Gustafson drives the lane during the Dragon boys’ SCL victory over El Molino Tuesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/ Index-Tribune

Junior Alex Gustafson drives the lane during the Dragon boys’ SCL victory over El Molino Tuesday night in Pfeiffer Gym. Bill Hoban/ Index-Tribune

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Playing the first of three Sonoma County League games in five days, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity basketball boys couldn’t get untracked early and found themselves trailing El Molino 15-8 after the first quarter of Tuesday night’s battle in Pfeiffer Gym.

But the second quarter was a different story for the Dragons, who got back-to-back offensive sparks in the post on a junior Alex Gustafson basket, and beyond the arc on a senior Vinny Albano trey, which ignited an 18-7 run, fueled by senior Jesse Summers’ eight points, which passed El Molino for a 26-22 halftime lead.

After both teams stepped up defensivley and held each other to eight points each in the third quarter, Sonoma finally took command in the final period with an offensive surge that left the visiting Lions stranded.

Starting with a Summers’ trey, and continuing with Albano and junior Cyle Gusse combining for 10 points, the Dragons tallied a 19-point fourth quarter en route to a much-needed 53-38 SCL victory.

Leading the Sonoma boys were Summers’ game-high 15 points to go with four rebounds and two assists; Gusse’s 11 points, nine rebounds, three steals, three assists and one block; senior Jack Murphy’s eight points and three rebounds; Albano’s seven points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals; junior Tristan Mertens’ four points and four steals; Gustafson’s four points, three rebounds and two assists; and juniors Noe Baron and Ryan Fisher’s two points each.

The SCL third-place Dragons, who traveled to Santa Rosa last night to face second-place Piner – results not available at presstime – will host league foe Healdsburg tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 8, in Pfeiffer Gym, with the freshmen starting at 4:30, the junior varsity playing at 6 p.m., and the varsity tipping off at 7:30 p.m.

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Sonoma’s jayvee hoops boys battled visiting El Molino in a seesaw game that extended beyond regulation play and through two overtime periods before being handed a heartbreaking 51-44 loss.

Pacing the Dragon jayvees were Max Yankovich’s 13 points, seven rebounds and one block; sophomore Spencer McNairy’s 10 points; sophomore Kevin Hurtado’s six points, eight rebounds and two assists; sophomore Miles Pimentel’s five points and seven rebounds; sophomore Edwin Reyes’ five points and three steals; sophomore Joe Petersen’s three points and sophomores Travis Claeys and Freddie Padilla’s one each; and sophomore Christian Jimenez’s three rebounds.

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Sonoma’s frosh hoops boys toppled visiting El Molino 50-43, led by Eric Bailey’s double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Nazir Lyle’s 16 points.