The Sonoma Valley High cagers lost Friday to Piner, 65-51, and the loss cost them a berth in the final Sonoma County League Tournament.
With a 6-6 league mark, the Dragons tied with Petaluma for fourth place. The Dragons and Trojans split their season series, so the next tie-breaker was numbers drawn in the pre-season meeting. Sonoma drew #7, so the berth in the tournament went to Petaluma.
The Dragons have qualified for the North Coast Section Tournament, but won’t know who they’ll face or what their seed is until next Sunday.
“It’s disappointing we don’t get the opportunity to play in the SCL tournament,” said Coach Mike Boles. “But we did have 12 chances to win games – 6-6 was just not good enough.”
Friday, the Dragons played well enough to win shooting 51 percent from the field and committing only eight turnovers. But the Prospectors were even better, shooting 54 percent.
“The difference - as it was in the first meeting – came at the free throw line,” Boles said. “We were 2-for-3 and while Piner was 13-for-19. We just couldn’t get to the free throw line and they did.”
The Prospectors got out to a 22-10 first-quarter lead. Midway through the second quarter, the Dragons cut the margin to three at 28-25 on a Max Gustafson trey. But Piner ran off 10 unanswered points on two treys and two deuces and it was back to a 13-point margin. That was as close as the Dragons get.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump. It seemed like Piner played a near perfect game,” Boles said. “I’m so proud of our players. Ultimately, we’re so close to breaking through and that is why it’s a bummer we aren’t in the SCL tournament.”
Jack Boydell led the Dragons with 14 points, Riley Phelan had 11, Gustafson had 10 while Dylan Samaniego had nine points.
The loss ends the Dragons regular season with a 12-14 overall mark and a 6-6 mark in league play.