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The whispers were that the Cloverdale Eagles Boys Basketball team was a favorite in this year’s NCL I race.
But before Cloverdale could claim that, there was a little thing about beating Willits they needed to conquer.  The Wolverines are the two time defending champions and went into Friday Night’s game with a four game winning streak against the Eagles, including two one point wins the last two seasons in Cloverdale.
Mission accomplished.
Despite not playing its best game, No. 5 Cloverdale rallied to beat No.9 Willits 46-39.  The Eagles won the game despite committing 20 turnovers.
Cloverdale committed seven of the turnovers in the first quarter and behind Anthony Sorace scoring 8 of his team equaling high 11 points, six of them on two three pointers, Willits had a 20-10 lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter.  After an Eagle time out, sophomore Luke Pope banked in a three point shot, which started a run of seven straight points to get the Eagles close.  Pope, who averages at little over two points a game, hit three 3’s on the night for nine points.
Pope’s second three gave Cloverdale a 26-24 lead, one minute into the third quarter.  It was the Eagles first lead since Pope hit his first three to make it 5-3.  Despite still having turnover problems, the Eagles defense then took over.  After Willits scored to make it 26-26 with six minutes to go, they wouldn’t score again until hitting two free throws with :04.7. Between then, Cloverdale had scored ten straight to take a 36-26 lead.
The offense was taken care of by Marcus Poe, who scored six straight to start the streak, on his way to a game high 17 points.
Cloverdale still had a ten point lead when Ryan Hosford hit a three with five minutes left to cut the lead to seven.  Neither team would score for the next three and a half minutes.  Willits scored the next hoop to make it 42-37, but then Pope scored on an old fashioned three point play and although not pretty Cloverdale had the big win.
Cloverdale is now 10-3 on the season.
Since losing its opener, Willits had won eleven of twelve and is 11-3 on the season.
No. 1 Cardinal Newman 72 Rancho Cotate 35
No. 2 Montgomery 63 No. 7 Ukiah 47
No. 8 Casa Grande 68 Maria Carrillo 60
No. 8 Windsor 45 Santa Rosa 38
Connor Rubbattino scored 23 as Cardinal Newman had its best offensive half of the season in the win over Rancho Cotate.  Cardinal Newman, now 13-0 on the season, scored 46 first half points, 27 of them in the first quarter.
Montgomery’s version of the twin towers was too much for Ukiah.  6’ 8” Dakota Row had 17 and 6’ 11” Erik Poulsen added 14.  It was a nice bounce back win for Montgomery after the Wednesday loss to Cardinal Newman.
John Christy scored 34 as Casa Grande held off Maria Carrillo.  Casa Grande had a 20 point lead in the third quarter before giving up 31 fourth quarter points to Maria Carrillo who was led by Clayton Andrews who had 31 points.
Gabe Knight and Parker Canady combined for 27 points as Windsor defeated Santa Rosa.
LEAGUE OVERVIEW: Cardinal Newman, Casa Grande and Windsor are 2-0.  It is judgment week for Windsor.  The Jaquars host Cardinal Newman on Wednesday and travel to Casa Grande on Friday.

Elsie Allen’s Bradley Greiner dribbles up the floor for the Lobos guarded closly by Sam Dominiko for the Piner Prospectpres

No. 3 Piner 49 No. 4 Elsie Allen 43
Analy 43 Petaluma 38
Sonoma Valley 48 El Molino 44
Keith Adams scored 22 as Piner held off Elsie Allen. Piner led most of the way and withstood a fourth quarter Elsie Allen that saw them cut the lead to three.
Chance Ortega scored 11 and Analy won a tight game with Petaluma.
Have no details on the Sonoma Valley win over El Molino
LEAGUE OVERVIEW: Piner and Analy make it to 2-0. The two teams meet at Analy Monday Night.
No. 5 Cloverdale 46 No. 9 Willits 39
St. Helena 47 Middletown 41
Kelseyville 65 Fort Bragg 48
Lower Lake 61 Clear Lake 58
Upset city as St. Helena defeated Middletown. Middletown went into the game with a 7-1 record and a five game winning streak. Chris Saladin and Gannon Laidlaw combined for 23 as the Saints snapped a three game losing streak.
Brandon Huber and Victor Hernandez scored 16 as Kelseyville broke open a close game with a run at the end of the third quarter to defeat Fort Bragg.  After a 2-0 start, St. Helena is 4-7 on the season.
No details on Lower Lake-Clear Lake.
LEAGUE OVERVIEW: Cloverdale and Lower Lake are 2-0. Cloverdale at Lower Lake Tuesday Night.
No. 9 Middletown 56 St. Helena 14
Cloverdale 48 Willits 45
Clear Lake 59 Lower Lake 50
Kelseyville 51 Fort Bragg 43
Ashlyn Welton score 19 as Middletown defeated St. Helena.
No details on Cloverdale-Willits.
Clear Lake jumped out to a 16 point lead in the first half.  Lower Lake cut it to two in the fourth quarter.  Taylor Helm scored 24 for Clear Lake.
Riley Goff scored 24 to lead Kelseyville over Fort Bragg.
LEAGUE OVERVIEW: Cloverdale and Middletown are 2-0. Middletown is at Cloverdale next Friday.
Liberty at Santa Rosa
St. Helena at Healdsburg
Montgomery (1-1) at No. 7 Windsor (1-1)
Piner (1-0) at No. 5 Petaluma (1-0)
Healdsburg (1-1) at No. 8 Analy (1-1)
Elsie Allen (0-2) at El Molino (0-2)
No. 3 Sonoma Valley at Terra Nova
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