Before moving on, some thoughts on the ending of the Casa Grande-Cardinal Newman game.
Some have thought that my comment in the article, “The game was not one of the best officiated games of the season” was stretched into meaning that that is why Cardinal Newman won the game.
I didn’t mean that at all.
As I mentioned in the article, neither team was happy about the way the game was called and it didn’t favor one team over the other.  I didn’t keep track of the fouls, but I don’t believe there was a major difference.  I mentioned in the article that Will Crain fouled out with 3:06 left.  A minute later Gunnar Walker fouled out for Cardinal Newman. According to my numbers (not official) Casa shot 21 free throws, Cardinal Newman 29 and Cardinal Newman shot five of those in the last :03.8 of the game, so no major difference there either.
Also mentioned in the article was that during the crazy finish, Casa Grande was not happy that they were not given a time out when they asked for one.  As I said in the article, I saw the Casa bench asking for the time out.  Also in the video that was posted here at you can see JJ Anderson calling a time out.  I am still inclined to give the officials a pass on that one, with everything going on at that moment.  That wasn’t the first missed time out call in basketball history and won’t be the last.
I am not feeling as generous about the technical that followed.  That came after the missed time out and the three pointer by Connor Rubattino with :03.8 left that was the game winner.  Someone would have to really lose it for a technical to be called in the part of the game.  If you saw the video you might have noticed when it moved to the Casa Grande bench, neither Head Coach James Forni or anyone on the bench had lost it.  I was also watching when the technical was called and that was the case.  Actually there had been several calls earlier in the game that had more of a violent reaction than that one did.  I wasn’t sure the T had been called.  There wasn’t a big T like you have seen officials give before.  I did think as I watched it unfold, “He didn’t give a T did he?”
The same official worked the JV game and late in the game he gave an official warning to the Casa Grande bench and announced it to the scorekeeper.  Nearly two hours later, in a different environment, there didn’t appear to be a warning.
Had the technical not been called, Cardinal Newman would have shot a free throw with :03.8 left leading 56-54.  Now of course it would take something out of the ordinary for Casa Grande to score in that situation, but compared to what we had just witnessed, comparably speaking, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary at all.
One other comment about the finish and it might be the most important one: Nothing should be taken away from the incredible shots that Connor Rubattino hit down the stretch, especially the last one. That is what won the game for Cardinal Newman.
:40 left…Scotty Cole hits to free throws to give Casa Grande a 54-48 lead
:22 left…Jamon Roberts puts in an offensive rebound…54-50
:14 left….after a steal Rubbatino hits a three point shot…54-53
:03.8 left…after a steal, a missed three pointer,an offensive rebound by Roberts, who also gets an assists, Rubbatino hits his second three pointer…56-54 Cardinal Newman.
Technical on Casa Grande…Rubbatino hits two of three from the line…58-54
:02.9 left…after an intentional foul, Damian Wallace hits two free throws…60-54
In the final :22 of the game Cardinal Newman scored ten points.
Now we move on.
No. 7 Willits 54 Middletown 36
No. 9 Cloverdale 55 Clear Lake 38
Kelseyville 80 St. Helena 75 (OT)
Fort Bragg 61 Lower Lake 54
Willits and Cloverdale remain tied for first place.
Willits used a big third quarter to defeat Middletown.  Dimitri Betts scored 23 hitting five of ten from three point range.
Cloverdale shutout Clear Lake 15-0 in the fourth quarter. John McMillan scored 20 points to lead the Eagles.
There is one more league game before Cloverdale travels to Willits, next Tuesday.
Cloverdale can’t afford to overlook that league game as they host Kelseyville who is only one game back.  Kelseyville barely stayed in that position, as they went three point crazy to defeat St. Helena in overtime.
Victor Fernandez scored 27 and Kyle Ellis added 19 as the two combined for eight 3 point shots.  The big three was by Brandon Huber, who hit his only one with :11 left to force OT.
No. 1 Cardinal Newman 65 No. 8 Montgomery 37
No. 2 Santa Rosa 61 Casa Grande 40
No. 9 Ukiah 48 No. 5 Windsor 34
Rancho Cotate 72 Maria Carrillo 54
Montgomery stayed within ten points of Cardinal Newman in the first half before the Cardinals put it away in the third quarter.  Kylie Kiech was one of three in double figures with 16 points.
Santa Rosa jumped out to a 17 point lead in the first quarter in its win over Casa Grande.  Kylie Oden scored 22.
The big news in the league was in the other games.  After Windsor scored the first five points, Ukiah scored 17 straight and had a 39-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Montgomery and Ukiah are tied for the fourth, which is the final spot for the NBL post season tournament.  The two teams meet in Montgomery on Thursday.
Rancho Cotate snapped a thirty six game league losing streak in its win over Maria Carrillo.  Sophomore Reilani Peleti scored a season high 26 points and Freshmen Camille Stackman added 20.
It was Rancho Cotate’s first league win since February 7th, 2012.
No. 6 Petaluma 52 No. 3 Sonoma Valley 39
No. 4 Analy 59 Piner 18
Healdsburg 40 El Molino 27
Elsie Allen Bye
It was a race changing night in the SCL Girls race with Petaluma defeating Sonoma Valley. Petaluma led from the start. Joelle Krist scored 16 and Cassie Baddeley added 13.
Saja Weaver scored 14 and pulled down ten rebounds as Analy defeated Piner.
Sonoma Valley and Petaluma are tied for first at 6-1, one game ahead of Petaluma.
Healdsburg scored the first eleven points of the game in its win over El Molino.  Hailey Roux scored ten to lead Healdsburg.
No. 7 Middletown 57 Willits 37
Clear Lake 49 Cloverdale 46
Kelseyville at St. Helena (No report)
Fort Bragg at Lower Lake (No report)
Ashlyn Welton scored 26 to lead Middletown past Kelseyville.
Middletown has a one game lead over Clear Lake and Kelseyville depending on the outcome of their game.
No. 3 Montgomery at No. 1 Cardinal Newman
No. 2 Casa Grande at Santa Rosa
No. 6 Windsor at Ukiah
Rancho Cotate at Maria Carrillo
The second half begins with the two teams that ended up on the right side of the thrillers on Monday meeting and the two teams that ended up on the wrong side meeting too.
There was nothing special about these matchups when they opened the league three weeks ago.  Both games were decided by 20 or more in Cardinal Newman and Casa Grande wins.
Montgomery didn’t have guard Michael Septimo in that game.  He was back on Monday after missing a month and had a game high 15 in the win over over Santa Rosa.
By the way Cardinal Newman is now 17-1.
Casa Grande and Cardinal Newman are tied for first place at 6-1, one game ahead over Montgomery and Windsor. To stay in the race it is close to a must win for Montgomery.  A loss they fall two back and wouldn’t be in very good shape tie-breaker wise.
Healdsburg at No. 4 Elsie Allen
No. 5 Piner at El Molino
Sonoma Valley at No. 8 Analy
Petaluma BYE
This is a sleeper game for Elsie Allen and Piner, who meet on Friday.
It is also a must win for Sonoma Valley to stay in the SCL race. Analy had a big first quarter and won the first meet at Sonoma Valley 60-50.
Analy, Elsie Allen and Piner are in a three way tie for first with Sonoma Valley two games back.
My email address is