The league races are about a week away from the halfway point.
The SCL Boys race always seems to have at least one game that has a big impact on the top of the league standings. On Thursday there are two.
No. 3 Analy and Sonoma Valley haven’t lost a league game and are a week away from setting up a first place showdown to end the first half.
It maybe only week away, but a few things have to happen between now and ten..
Analy has the easiest route, not because of who they play, but because of how many they play. Analy has the league bye next Tuesday, so if they can get past Elsie Allen at home on Thursday they will be set up a week later in Sonoma.
Analy hasn’t been as dominating as they have been the past few seasons, they are in a familiar position having win four of the last five SCL Regular Season championships. In each of the league championship years they have started 4-0. Last year the average win was 27 points a game, which was the lowest of the four seasons.
This year it is half of that, including Tuesday’s 56-40 win over Petaluma. Malcolm Jenkins, who is the team’s leading scorer averaging 12.5 a game, scored 21 points to lead the Tigers. It’s the second game this season that he has hit the twenty point mark.
Analy, who is 10-6 on the season, does have a non-league game before the Sonoma Valley. That game is on Saturday when they travel to American Canyon to meet Pinole Valley (12-5) who along with Analy is a Division 3 team, so that will have a bearing on the seedings for the North Coast Section playoffs.
Elsie Allen is coming to Analy after dropping its first league game to Piner 54-35. A 10-2 run to end the first half gave Piner a 28-19 lead and they kept the momentum going by holding Elsie Allen to three third period points and take a 20 point lead into the fourth quarter. Nebi Gedlu and Adonay Efreim combined for 27 points to pace the Prospectors.
The loss snapped a five game losing streak for Elsie Allen who drops to 10-5 overall. It is the most wins the Lobos have had in a season since they went 15-12 in the 2009-2010 season. After a non-league game against Roseland Prep on Saturday, Elsie Allen travels to Sonoma Valley on Tuesday, so they are in the meat of its league schedule.
So is Sonoma Valley who hosts Piner on Thursday. The Dragons, who are 5-11 overall, have won its first three league games. On Tuesday they rallied from an early deficit to defeat El Molino 41-35. Jesse Summers hit double figures for the fourth straight game with 14 points.
The three league wins for Sonoma Valley are against teams that have a combined league record of 1-10. After the Piner game they have back to back home games against Elsie Allen and Analy.
Piner’s lone league loss was to Analy 49-47 last Saturday. That is the Prospectors only loss in the last four games. Before that streak they had lost five straight.
The other Thursday Night SCL Boys game is Healdsburg at Petaluma. Both teams are going for its first league win.
NBL GIRLS STILL HAVE A RACE
With all the talk about No. 1 Santa Rosa it might be easy to assume that they are in full control of the NBL race. You know what they say what happens when you assume.
No. 3 Cardinal Newman has matched Santa Rosa’s 3-0 start. On Tuesday after getting off to a slow start and then cruised past Rancho Cotate 78-44. After one quarter Rancho Cotate led 18-14. Tiffany Salinas and Kylie Kiech combined for 43 points.
Cardinal Newman, who has won four straight to improve its record to 10-5, has some work to do before worrying about Santa Rosa. Before than Cardinal Newman travels to Maria Carrillo on Thursday, before having home games against No. 6 Montgomery and No. 2 Windsor next week.
Speaking of Montgomery and Windsor, they are meeting Thursday night at the Viking Dome in Santa Rosa. Both teams have one league loss, both of those to No. 1 Santa Rosa.
On Tuesday Night Windsor defeated Casa Grande 46-39 behind a 24 point performance by Jessica Barbosa. Windsor trailed most of the way before taking the lead for good on a 9-0 run in the four quarter which gave them a 40-31 lead. Windsor is now 12-3 on the season.
Montgomery moved to 8-6 on the season after a 51-40 win over Ukiah. A 19-4 second quarter gave the Vikings a 19 point halftime lead. Niambi Saint Louis scored 16 and Abbey Lea added 12. It was the third straight game that Saint Louis has scored 16 points. Lea has scored in double figures in four straight games. Her highest scoring game before that was 6.
Santa Rosa did what they do. The Panthers led Maria Carrillo 24-0 after the first quarter on its way to a 67-38 win. Devin Murray and Morgan Bertsch were at it again. Murray scored 26 points and Bertsch added 23 and 13 rebounds. Santa Rosa, who is 13-1 on the season, travel to Rancho Cotate on Thursday.
The other North Bay League game on Thursday is Ukiah at Casa Grande.
This is a busy time for the Girls. Monday is a school holiday for Martin Luther King’s Birthday and the Annual NBL-SCL challenge will be played at Sonoma Valley High School.
NBL-SCL CHALLENGE SCHEDULE AT SONOMA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
MONDAY JANUARY 20TH
10:30…Analy vs. Casa Grande
Noon…Piner vs. Rancho Cotate
1:30…Healdsburg vs. Windsor
3 pm…Elsie Allen vs. Ukiah
4:30…Petaluma vs. Montgomery
6 pm…Sonoma Valley vs. Maria Carrillo
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