Lady Dragon cagers hunt for Vine Valley wins

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The Lady Dragons basketball team has had a good 2019 so far, picking up where they left off with a pair of wins at home with a single loss against East Bay powerhouse Alhambra on the road in between. The wins put the team over the .500 mark, with a 8-7 record on the season.

Friday, Jan. 4, the girls comfortably handled St. Vincent of Petaluma 47-37 in a non-league game at Pfeiffer Gym. Both teams sport the initials SVHS, but it was the Sonoma Valley squad that jumped out to the lead with a 10-4 first quarter. Then the Lady Mustangs went wild with a 16-point second period, closing the half ahead 20-17.

Not to be intimidated, the Lady Dragons went toe-to-toe in the third quarter matching St. Vincent’s 14 with 14 of their own, then taking over in the last period with a dominating 16 points against only 3 for “the other SVHS.”

Coach Jann Thorpe said the team “balanced the scoring in this game really well.” Sophie Lucchetti, a sophomore, led the offense with 11 points and three steals, followed by senior Erin Gylft and soph Jovana Saldana with six each. Junior Kennedy Midgley sparked the defense with seven rebounds, followed by five from senior Annie Neles and three from Saldana.

The next day, Sonoma traveled to Martinez to face Alhambra High, where they fell to the Lady Bulldogs, 51-32. Alhambra has defeated its last four opponents by a points total of 239-135, and is undefeated since they lost to Vintage (a VVAL team) on Dec. 29.

On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Lady Dragons took control early during their game with Justin-Siena. “It was a great team defensive night for the Lady Dragons,” said Thorpe. “The girls really did a nice job of taking on their leading scorer (Ashlee Whittemore), who averages 19 points a game and held her to 9 against us.”

This time Midgley anchored the team with 10 points and 9 rebounds, followed by 9 from Saldana and 6 from Neles and junior Shauna Johnston. Johnston also grabbed a game-leading 11 rebounds. “Shauna Johnston was huge for us tonight doing a lot of the key little things that played a big role in the win,” said Thorpe.

“I was extremely proud of focus and energy that the girls came out with,” said Thorpe. “That is something we have been talking about, knowing we need those two things in order to be successful.”

The coach added, “It was a fun game to be a part of, as the student section and fans brought so much spirit and support.”

From this point on, Sonoma Valley meets only VVAL rivals as the first year of the girls basketball league shapes up. As we go to press SVHS is playing league-leading Vintage in Napa (results too late for press time). Vintage has a 4-0 league record, while Sonoma Valley is 2-1 in VVAL.

Next home game for the Lady Dragons is this Saturday, Jan. 12, against American Canyon at Pfeiffer Gym; followed by Petaluma on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Both games begin at 7 p.m., 5:30 JV, at Pfeiffer Gym.

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