Casa has too much for Petaluma

Casa Grande had too much of everything for Petaluma's Trojans in the first official boys basketball game of the season for both teams Tuesday night.

Casa's Gauchos were too tall, too experience and, most importantly, too much better at putting the ball in the basket. The result was a one-sided 62-31 win for the Gauchos in a game that was fun and spirited for the rival fans, if not really competitive on the court.

Casa opened with three starters and a player who had much playing time last season, while Petaluma began with just one returning starter and one other player who had varsity experience. By the second quarter, the experience gap was evident.

The game was close for a quarter. Petaluma's Joe Lynch battled the Gauchos inside for the first eight minutes and connected on four short jump shots as Petaluma surprised its host in the Coach Ed Iacopi Gymnasium, reaching the end of round 1 trailing just 11-10.

"With the crowd, a rivalry game and our first game, I just think we were too fired up in the first quarter," said Casa coach James Forni.

The competitiveness quickly went out of the game in the second period. Casa Grande, with four players — Cetrick Yeanay, Will Crain, Colin McDonald and Jon Christy — scoring, counted the first eight points of the period for a 19-10 lead and never looked back.

Meanwhile, the chill of the outside night air crept into a Petaluma uniform and the Trojans went icy cold, hitting only two shots in the second quarter. By the half, the Gauchos were solidly in front, 30-14.

Things just never got better for the Trojans. Christy, all 6-foot, 6-inches of him, dominated the inside and chipped in a couple of mid-range jumpers, and returning all-league guard Yeanay warmed to the occasion as the Gauchos took complete charge.

Meanwhile, Petaluma managed just one basket, an inside effort by Thomas Swanson, and a pair of free throws by Branden Marweg in the entire third period.

Both sides went liberally to the bench to close out the game's competitive final minutes.

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