Joelle Krist converted two timely free throws in the late going to help preserve a 48-44 victory by Petaluma over host Ukiah as the T-Girls grabbed the championship contest in Ukiah's three-day tournament.
Krist, struggling from the line since returning from an ankle injury, got both charity tosses when they counted as the T-Girls held off the fast closing Lady Wildcats. Ukiah rallied from a 20-2 deficit to get within four points on two occasions in the final stanza.
The win was the second close call for the T-Girls, who held off McKinleyville, 50-46, the night before to move into the finals.
"I was happy that we won the first annual tournament, but our mood in the dressing room was that we gave too much away," said Petluma coach Doug Johnson. "I'm hoping that our better shooters get a bit more selfish. Allison Scranton had three pretty good games. She is getting better."
Scranton had 38 rebounds and played major minutes in the three games won by Petaluma.
At times the youthful T-Girls looked very much like they were playing ahead of schedule this season, and the first quarter gave every indication that it would be a blowout. With Scranton controlling the glass, Petaluma rolled to a commanding 15-2 first-quarter advantage with the Wildcat score coming late in the quarter.
Point guard Kara Lizama managed the tempo most of the early contest, and the bulk of the scoring came from shooting guard Katy Bisges, with help from Krist.
Things began to turn around in the second quarter, however, when Ukiah went on an 8-1 run behind the 3-point shooting of Shelley Mee. Mee drained a couple of shots from distance from the left side of the court to give the Indians needed life, and it got the home crowd much more involved. Petaluma's margin was shaved to 30-20 at half.
With Mee continuing to connect on crucial shots down the stretch, Ukiah shaved the gap even further, and the T-Girls helped by getting whistled on some unusual calls in the final quarter.