Petaluma held off a fourth quarter rally by Fairfield to capture the consolation title game of the Amber bracket, 39-38, at the West Coast Jamboree played at Bentley High School in Lafayette on Saturday.
The T-Girls led by as many as eight points, but had to grimly hang on to fight off the Falcons down the stretch. Two baskets by Lady Eagle forward Shawntanea Moten made things very uncomfortable for Petaluma in the final minutes, and her potential go-ahead basket with 12 seconds left was waved off on a traveling call.
On the Petaluma side, the victory was a coming out party for junior guard Lisa Guptil. The rapidly improving lefty continually harassed the Falcon back court to the tune of four turnovers and a couple of steals to keep the T-Girls in the hunt. Guptil also scored the first seven points for Petaluma, and wound up draining 15 points to lead her team in scoring.
Two pressure free throws down the stretch by shooting guard Katy Bisges helped the T-Girls maintain the lead. Bisges scored 14 points despite being called for a dangerous third foul only seconds into the third period.
The hard-working front court tandem of Joelle Krist and Allison Scranton were named to the all-tournament team. Between them, the two T-Girls combined for 17 rebounds.
The young T-Girls improved to 10-3 record for the pre-league season. They will open Sonoma Valley League play Thursday night against Piner. The annual game between Petaluma and an alumni team was scheduled for Wednesday.
Eureka surprised favored Windsor, 59-57, to capture the Amber brackett championship.
Sophomore center Scranton dumped in 19 points to lead Petaluma to a 52-44 decision over Albany in a second-round game. Scranton had her best scoring output of the pre-league season, and pulled down eight rebounds to complete a solid outing for the T-Girls.
Despite the heroics by Scranton, the T-Girls struggled in the first half and trailed, 24-22.
"I think we are better than this team, but we seem to make everything close," said a puzzled coach Doug Johnson. "When we got up by 11 in the last quarter, it looked like we might run away with it. They closed the gap in a hurry."
Petaluma turned in its most productive scoring quarter of the season by running up 21 points, but could not shake the pesky Lady Cougars.
Albany rallied with two 3-point shots and a put back underneath to draw within four points twice in the final three minutes of play. Maya Chin had 16 points for the Cougars (4-6).
Petaluma sophomore Maddie Mehciz was awarded with some extended playing time at forward, and turned in a steady ball-handling performance along with teammate Jenna Teagarden in the back court. "Jenna steadied us quite a bit in the second half," said Johnson.
Krist continued her reliable play, and moved to the point position in a change of offensive strategy for the T-Girls. Krist dumped in 16 points while Bisges added eight.
Petaluma opened the Jamboree by dropping a hard fought 46-43 decision to energetic Washington of San Francisco on Thursday afternoon. The narrow defeat was the third loss of the season for the T-Girls.
It was disappointing for Petaluma, as it got into position for 20 more shots than their opponents, but couldn't convert from the floor or the free throw line when it counted. Petaluma led by seven points midway through the final period, but missed four shots from the line down the stretch.