The road to the first win of the season for Petaluma High School’s T-Girl basketball team got just a little bumpy, but the Petaluma girls managed to cruise to a successful finish Tuesday night, defeating College Park’s Falcons, 57-43.
Playing in their home gym, the T-Girls led by double digits most of the way before the feisty Falcons cut their deficit to eight points against Petaluma reserves midway through the fourth period. At that point, Petaluma coach Jon Ratshin reinserted the Petaluma front-line troops to close out the win.
“Not bad,” Ratshin observed of the first official T-Girl endeavor of the season. “There is still room for improvement, but we had our moments. I was pleased with how well we played together.”
The Petaluma coordination was especially impressive given that Ratshin began shuffling his lineup midway through the opening quarter and managed to get all 12 varsity T-Girls onto the court in both halves. All contributed, with 11 of the 12 adding to the final score.
What it really came down to was the T-Girls being the bigger, more talented and more experience team. The Falcons, with just three seniors on the team, showed hustle and determination. They are learning the game and are going to get better. The T-Girls, with a bevy of varsity veterans, know the game and they, too, are going to get better.
Junior Jaden Krist led Petaluma scorers with 13 points, including a 3-pointer early in the fray. She had plenty of point-making help. Nichole Costa did what she will do many more times this season — take the ball to the hoop. She finished with eight points in limited playing time. Kaileigh Pate and Kelsey Martin added seven each; Angelina Scaccalosi, Bella Weinberg and Sherlene Arkat scored four apiece; Liliah Bacon and Courtney Temple each connected on a 3-pointer; and Paris Buchanan and Lilly Catarozoli each contributed a basket.
Denied driving lanes by the tenacious Petaluma defense, College Park relied on outside bombing for its scoring and gave the T-Girls some consternation, dropping home eight from beyond the arc. Nicole Ashmore connected on four and finished with 13 points, while teammate Megan Downing hit on three and Evelyn Kim added one.
Despite College Park’s late run, the outcome of the game was never really in doubt. Costa hit a medium-range jumper and Krist connected from outside for a 3 to give the T-Girls the game’s first five points, and they never trailed.
Despite playing several different player combinations in the second quarter, Petaluma was impressive offensively, scoring 16 points, mostly from underneath the hoop or by free throws resulting from their basket-driving antics. By the half the T-Girls’ advantage was 28-15.
It was more of the same through much of the second half, until College Park got hot from the outside and Petaluma sent the starters back in to preserve the victory.
The T-Girls will participate starting Thursday in the Gold Rush Shootout Classic hosted by Piner. Petaluma opens tonight at 8:30 against Colfax.
Petaluma dominated the junior varsity game, winning 49-8 behind 13 points from Rose Nevin.