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Tough night, but good week


Despite a nightmare at Analy, it was an overall good week for Petaluma’s boys basketball team.

Not only did the Trojans record wins over Elsie Allen, 47-37, and Rincon Valley Christian, 58-55, but they also had two forfeit losses reversed, giving them four wins against one loss for the week.

Petaluma had initially been forced to forfeit now-league wins over Novato and Elsie Allen for using an academically ineligible player, but a review reversed those forfeits.

Petaluma is now 15-11 for the season. The win Friday night at Elsie Allen finished its Sonoma County League season at 8-4. That ties it with Healdsburg for second place in the SCL. As as result of a pre-season draw, Healdsburg will receive the host position in this week’s Sonoma County League Tournament, meaning Petaluma visits on Wednesday. Results of that game were not available at press time.

In the other league tournament game, Piner plays at Analy. Winners meet Saturday at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Last weekend, Joey Potts came alive in the final quarter to lead the Trojans to the win over Elsie Allen.

“Up until then it was really close,” said Petaluma coach Scott Behrs. “They really compete. Joey really came up big for us in the fourth quarter.”

Petaluma shot poorly, connecting on only 34 percent of its shots from the field and going just 4-of-8 from the free throw line.

Rincon Valley Christian, leading the North Central League II, surprised the Trojans in Saturday’s non-league game.

“They stayed in a zone all the way, and we just couldn’t hit,” Behrs said.

Brendan O’Neill sank a basket and drew a foul for a three-point play in the closing seconds to win it for the Trojans.

In a mid-week showdown against league champ Analy, Petaluma scored one point in the second period and was never really in the game, losing, 57-33.

The game started more than a half hour late as Analy honored the 10 seniors on its 13-player roster. The Tigers continued the celebration into the game, dominating every aspect of the match between the Nos. 1-2 teams in the SCL.

The game was over before it really got started. O’Neill drove to the hoop for the game’s first basket to give Petaluma a 2-0 lead. It was the first and last lead of the night for the Trojans. With about two minutes left in the initial period, an inside hoop by Collin Stremlau pulled Petaluma to within 8-6, but Adian Toner-Rodgers and Spencer Vogel began a game-long gallop to the basket, and by the end of the quarter, the Tigers had established a 16-6 lead.

Analy’s historic sunken court really became a torture chamber for Petaluma in the second quarter. Hounded by an aggressive Analy defense and their own dismal shooting, the Trojans did not hit a single basket in the period, with its only score coming on an O’Neill free throw.

At the half, the Tigers led, 32-7.

Petaluma was 2 of 18 from the floor for the first half, while Analy was 13 of 21. For the game, Petaluma was 11 of 42 (26 percent), while Analy was 22 of 49 (45 percent).

The second half was somewhat kinder to the Trojans, although it was contested by a multitude of reserves.

The battle of the big men was pretty much a standoff with both Petaluma’s 6-8 Potts and Analy’s Jordan Armstrong each scoring six points and, at times, dominating the backboards. Both altered opposition drives to the net, with Potts blocking at least five shots.

Armstrong had a lot more help. There were times when Toner-Rodgers and Don Tripodi barreled to the hoop almost at will, with Toner-Rodgers finishing with 15 points and Tropodi 14.

Potts and O’Neill each scored six points to lead the Trojans.

Petaluma did get some good play from its reserves in the late going with Robbie Isetta dropping in a three and Teddy Critchett and Whitaker Ellis both providing late baskets.

Until very late in the game, the Petaluma reserves were playing against an Analy lineup that still contained starters Toner-Rodgers, Tripodi and Armstrong.