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Sonoma Valley cagers sweep Dixon Tournament

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There was no letting up over the holidays for the Sonoma Valley Dragons basketball team. Starting two days after Christmas, the boys varsity spent their time in Dixon, off Interstate 80 en route to Davis, competing in the Dixon Tournament against a number of Northern California teams.

It was time well spent. The Dragons won all three of their games in the elimination tournament and came away with the crown, in the wake of their 74-69 victory over the Marysville Indians in the final game, which Coach Mike Boles termed “a thriller.”

Marysville was the favorite to win the game and the tournament, sporting a 10-2 record as they came into the Dixon tourney. The Dragons record was an unremarkable 6-5, but they focused on the fundamentals and wrested the championship from the Indians.

Following an overwhelming first quarter by Marysville which posted a 30-18 lead at the break, the Dragons battled back to hold the Indians to only 5 points in the second quarter while scoring 21 of their own, taking a 39-35 lead into the half.

The game stayed close in the seesaw third period that followed, with the game changing hands a couple times though it ended with the Dragons leading 55-45. The Dragons were able to execute down the stretch and hold on for a 74-69 victory, behind the high-scoring Jack Boydell’s 32 points on the day.

“I’m real proud of the grit our players displayed. Our habits and approach have been improving daily and it culminated in a tourney championship,” said Boles.

Named MVP of the tournament was SVHS senior Boydell, who scored 65 points in three games – almost half of them in the final. Freshman Dom Girish earned an All-Tournament nod as well.

The Dragons began tournament play on Dec. 27 with a 53-36 win against Orland in the first round, despite a slow start. “Once we got our second wind,” said Boles, “our focus on the defensive end improved and our execution offensively was better. It translated into a nice opening round victory.”

The next day proved little more challenging as the Dragons defeated Futures 66-44 in the semi-final, jumping out to a 31-14 halftime lead and dominating from start to finish. “We wore them down with our defensive intensity,” said Boles.

But it was in the Dec. 29 final against Marysvillle that the Dragons roared: Boydell scored 32, followed by Reed Hewitt with 12, Dom Girish with 11 points and Tyler Garrett with 9. Coach Boles singled out Hewitt’s defensive play in the game, saying “he has embraced the defensive stopper role.”

Boydell, the team’s leading scorer on the season, also topped the points output for the Dragons in the first two games, scoring 18 in the opener against Orland and 15 in the Futures semi-final.

Calling the tournament a “phenomenal three days of basketball,” the coach summarized the team’s accomplishment in the context of the second half of regulation play. “We will enjoy the results as we enter the new year, but we also know we have more to accomplish.”

Their next game is Saturday, Jan. 5, against Ygnacio Valley, and their next home match is Monday, Jan. 7 against league rival Napa, with varsity tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.