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Sonoma wins two of three in Novato tournament

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The Sonoma Valley High Dragon cagers finished third this past weekend in the inaugural Hornet Invitational hosted by Novato High School.

Miramonte won the tournament, beating host Novato, 68-52, in the title game.

The Dragons opened with a 61-36 win over Balboa of San Francisco on Thursday, fell to Miramonte Friday in the semifinals, 56-35, and rebounded on Saturday beating Chico, 66-52, for third place.

Jack Boydell, who scored 59 points in the three games, was named to the all-tournament team.

Thursday, Sonoma and Balboa played a close first half with the Dragons holding a 23-17 lead at the half. But a 21-8 third-quarter blitz put the game away for the Dragons.

“The first quarter defense set the tempo and then the third quarter was a combination of defensive and offensive efficiency,” said Dragon Coach Mike Boles.

The Dragons were led by Riley Phelan’s 17 points and eight rebounds, Boydell’s 15 points and six boards, Dom Girish’s 14 points and four rebounds and Tyler Garrett’s four points and eight boards.

“Our defense really set the tone, especially in the third quarter,” Boles said. “Brendan Hogan and Tyler Garrett did a great job controlling their opponent on the defensive boards, which allowed their teammates to clean up the rebounds and that triggered our offensive output.”

Friday, the Dragons ran into Miramonte. Sonoma was in a 19-7 hole at the end of the first quarter. “We played much better in the second and third quarters,” Boles said. “But the fourth quarter was all the Matadors.”

Boydell had 17 points while Phelan had seven.

“Give credit to Miramonte, they dictated the game and put us on our heels early. We bounced back and chipped away; however, when you’re in an early and big hole, it’s challenging to crawl out especially against a quality opponent,” Boles said. “We started to get back in the game, but then a few consecutive defensive breakdowns were ultimately too much to overcome. Oddly, we played some above-average defense and held the tourney champion to their lowest point total. I know our defense translated into the next game’s success.”

Sonoma bounced back Saturday against Chico in the third-place game. The Dragons ran out to a 20-7 first-quarter lead, and led 40-33 at the half. While Chico cut the lead to four a couple of times, the Dragons fended off their runs.

Boydell led the Dragon charge with 25 points and seven rebounds to go along with three assists. Girish had 16 points. “Dom was instant offense off the bench,” Boles said. “He’s a quick learner, extremely coachable and makes excellent decisions.”

Phelan had eight points, 10 boards and nine assists. “Riley had an outstanding tournament,” Boles said. “He did so many positive things including rebounding and pushing the pace.” Tyler Garrett had seven points and four boards. Boles said Garrett was very effective on the defensive boards and kept the offense moving with good vision and passing skills.

Hogan had four rebounds, but was a defensive presence in the paint during the tournament. “Brendan played with great energy and consistently battled on the boards,” Boles said. “We played very well when Brendan was on the floor.”

Reed Hewitt chipped in with six points and Boles said he showed extreme toughness.

The two wins squares the Dragons’ record at 2-2 on the season.

Sonoma has two home games this week, tonight (Tuesday) when they host Pinole Valley, freshmen at 4:30 p.m., JV at 6, and varsity at 7:30. Then on Thursday, the Dragons host Elsie Allen, with games at 5:30 p.m. and 7.