You could make a case that the Cardinal Newman Girls basketball team came as close to losing an NBL game as they have in nearly two years.
It still wasn’t very close.

cng jazzy 3
Cardinal Newman’s Jazzy Henderson (left) fires up a 3 that just beats the buzzer to end the first quarter vs Montgomery on Tuesday Night.

On Thursday night, Rancho Cotate had as about as shocking a score as you might see this season leading Cardinal Newman 10-8 after the first quarter. It was the first time that Cardinal Newman has trailed at the end of any quarter in an NBL game since January 28th, 2014.
Things got back to normal quickly. It was all Cardinal Newman after that, as they went on to a 72-44 win. Tal Webb had a game high 20 points. She was one of four Cardinal Newman players in double figures.
On Tuesday, Cardinal Newman also had four score in double figures as they opened league play with a 72-28 win over No. 2 Montgomery. Camille Spackman and Reilani Peleti combined for 31 for Rancho Cotate, who falls to 7-6.
That game on January 28th, 2014 was against Ukiah and went double overtime with Cardinal Newman pulling out a 48-47 win. That started a league winning streak that has reached 23 straight (twenty seven counting the NBL post season tournament games the last two seasons). It is the fourth time during the streak that Cardinal Newman had less than a ten point lead after the first quarter. Two of the other three times were in 2014. Last year it happened once, against Windsor . After one Cardinal Newman had a 14-12 lead, before going on to a 55-36 win. The final was the closest game of the Cardinals 14-0 run through the NBL.
The No. 1 ranked team in the area is one of two teams in the NBL that has made it through the first week 2-0 in league play. The other team is Casa Grande, who Cardinal Newman doesn’t meet until January 23rd.
It had to be one of the closest nights in the history of Sonoma County League Boys basketball. There were three games that were decided by a combined 12 points, with one of the games going into overtime.
The overtime game was No. 3 Analy rallying to defeat Sonoma Valley 67-64. Sonoma Valley had a 9 point lead at the half and seven after three. Aidan Toner-Rodgers led Analy with 20 points. Luke Severson scored 16 for Sonoma Valley. The two teams combined to have seven players score in double figures.
In the other games, Nick Hercules scored 26, as defending champion Elsie Allen defeated Healdsburg 49-46 and Piner held off El Molino 50-44.
Despite the close games the top of the league has a familiar look with Analy and Piner both 2-0. The two will meet at  Analy on Saturday Night.
One of the things that doesn’t look familiar is Petaluma being undefeated in SCL. Yes it is only one game, which was a 68-44 win over El Molino on Tuesday night. It is the first time they won their league opener since 2010.
It is turning into a few, “first times in a while”, kind of year for Petaluma. They weren’t in one of those close SCL games Thursday Night, but they were in a close game. They had a non-league game against Vintage and rallied from a nine point halftime deficit to take a 66-63 win. Ryan Cox scored 25 points to lead the way.
Petaluma is 9-5 on the season the nine wins the same amount as they won in the last two seasons. On Saturday, they host Sonoma Valley. A win will give them double digits in wins for the first time since 2009.
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