As the high school basketball season heads into the home stretch, it is time for local teams to put it in or shut it down. With the second half of league seasons just starting, there is still time for late-season drives, but it doesn’t look good for many of the local teams.
Here’s how things stand the last three weeks of the regular season. All standings are based on records through Jan. 20.
Two hurting losses in games they felt they should have won have put the Petaluma boys in a difficult spot as they try to contend for the Sonoma County League title. Collapses in the fourth quarter led to Trojan losses to both Piner, 51-47, and Healdsburg, 49-48. At 4-2 in league (10-9 overall), the Trojans are a game behind Piner (5-1) and two behind Healdsburg (4-2).
To gain a share of the league championship, Petaluma needs to beat Piner when it hosts the Prospectors next Monday (Jan.29) and win at Healdsburg in the last game of the regular season on Feb. 2. Of course, that game will only have real significance if someone, possibly Piner on Friday night, can knock off Healdsburg along the way.
Regardless of how the pennant race plays out, Petaluma is almost certain to be involved in the Sonoma County League playoffs for the top four teams, and should also be in line for a berth in the North Coast Section playoffs.
It has been a tough year for the Casa Grande boys team as the Gauchos find themselves on the wrong side of a North Bay League that is split among the haves and the have nots.
Three teams — Windsor (7-1), Montgomery (7-1) and Cardinal Newman (7-1) — are battling for the league championship. Everyone else, including Casa Grande (2-6) is playing for pride, although Maria Carrillo (5-3 and 10-10 overall) could have a chance at landing a place in the NCS playoffs.
As they have all season, the Gauchos face a tough road in the NBL this week, playing at Maria Carrillo on Wednesday and hosting Montgomery on Friday.
St. Vincent boys
The St. Vincent boys fall right in the middle of the North Central League II mix with a 3-3 league record, although at 4-11 overall, the Mustangs’ chances of an NCS berth seem remote.
Roseland University Prep and Sonoma Academy, both undefeated in league, are fighting it out for the league championship.
The Mustangs, after meeting Credo on Tuesday, try to play spoiler Thursday, going after league unbeaten Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa and then coming home to meet Technology on Saturday.
Tomales, with eight players, is 1-5 in league and 3-12 overall.
The Braves host Upper Lake on Tuesday, go to Rincon Valley Christian on Thursday and finish off their week at home Saturday against league-unbeaten Roseland University Prep.
The area’s best chance for a league championship is in the hands of Petaluma’s T-Girls, who are undefeated (6-0) in Sonoma County League play despite some close encounters. After the first round of league play, the T-Girls (15-5 on the season), are two games ahead of several quality pursuers. Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley and Analy are all 4-2, and all played the Petalumans tough in the first round.