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T-Girls win Drake Tournament

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.

Petaluma held off repeated comeback attempts by Sir Francis Drake to edge the Lady Pirates, 49-44, Saturday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep of the Anne Scott round robin basketball tournament in San Anselmo.

The T-Girls got four clutch points from lefthander Lisa Guptil and outscored Drake, 16-11, in the final stanza. Guptil nailed a floating a field goal immediately after coming off the bench mid-way through the final period, and Petaluma led the rest of the way.

Sophomore Katy Bisges continued her fine play in the tournament with 19 points and five steals to help Petaluma improve to a perfect 4-0 for the season. Guptil chipped in with a season-high 12 points, including a crowd pleasing over the shoulder lay-in under the hoop.

Center Allison Scranton played most of the contest, and dominated the inside with 13 rebounds for the T-Girls.

Coach Doug Johnson was pleased with the win, but was left scratching his head on the failure of his team to swing into their designed offense with regularity. “We only run a few things, and I wish they could execute better at this stage,” he said. “We have work to do.”

Drake came into the game after dispatching Tamalpais, 47-42, in a closely contested contest the previous night. High scoring Molly Carmody finished with 22 points against the T-Girls.

The win marked the sixth consecutive victory by Petaluma in the tournament, as they also claimed the title last season.

On Friday, Petaluma clawed back from a three-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge Fairfield, 46-40, in the early game of the night. Free throws and a critical basket underneath by Scranton in the final two minutes helped the T-Girls pull away.

Paced by the offense provided by slashing guard Bisges, the T-Girls raced to a 19-13 advantage at half.

A very effective full court pressure defense forced enough turnovers for the Falcons to bounce back and grab the lead in the late going. Seven points by senior wing player Alexis Hines paced the Fairfield rally.

Bisges maintained her stellar effort throughout with a couple of clutch steals that she turned into points at the other end. She played solidly at both ends, and finished with a season high 21 points. Five points each turned in by Scranton and reliable point guard Kara Lizama helped the T-Girls along the way.

“I feel real good about the effort of our girls in this one,” said Johnson. “We will have to wait and see how long Jo will be lost. We do have an extended break before the Casa game a week from Monday.”

Johnson was referring to a major hit taken by the T-Girls in the second half when forward Joelle Krist fell awkwardly and twisted her ankle on a play near mid-court. Krist had to be assisted from the floor and treated by the Drake trainer after the fall. It is unknown how long the versatile sophomore will be lost.

Thursday night, Petaluma opened with a convincing 55-41 over Tamalpais of Mill Valley. The T-Girls broke open a close game in the second period by exploding for a 19-6 run behind Krist, who rimmed six points on a couple of driving shots and a pair of free throws.

Tamalpais got into foul trouble after managing a 12-11 advantage after the first period and never recovered. The aggressive T-Girls went to the foul line 15 times, and converted nine times to gradually pull away with eight players scoring in the quarter. A 3-pointer from the top of the circle by Guptil helped Petaluma rush to a 30-18 lead at half.

Everyone got into the game in the second half as Petaluma was able to maintain an advantage throughout. Krist finished with 15 points, leading the offense, followed by Bisges with 10.

Junior guard Sophie Bihn came off the bench to score seven points for the T-Girls. “It was her best all-around effort so far this year,” noted Johnson.

Krist and sophomore center Scranton secured seven rebounds each for the winning T-Girls.

Tamalpais was led by junior shooting guard Caitlin Byrne with 12 points, including a perfect four-for-four from the free throw line. Veteran 6-foot center Elizabeth Archer had seven points and a game leading nine rebounds for the Red Tail Hawks.

Tamalpais finished with a 19-11 record in 2011 and advanced to the second round of North Coast Division III playoffs after placing third in the Marin County League.

“We have a young team, and it is going to take some time this season,” said Tam coach Mike Evans. “Petaluma played very well tonight.”

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