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.
Petaluma was to play Healdsburg at home Tuesday night, before getting an expected breather against winless Elsie Allen on Thursday in Santa Rosa.
Casa Grande girls
Casa Grande’s girls are right in the middle of the North Bay League standings with a 4-4 league record (11-8 overall).
Cardinal Newman is once again the league’s elite with an 8-0 league mark and a 16-4 overall record. Montgomery at 6-2 and Ukiah at 5-3 are next in line, with Casa and Santa Rosa both 4-4 in league, and with identical 8-8 overall marks are battling for playoff positions.
The Lady Gauchos faced league-winless Maria Carrillo earlier this week in preparation for a big game at Montgomery on Thursday night.
St. Vincent girls
The St. Vincent girls are holding their own in the North Central League II, but have to have some help to catch pacesetters Sonoma Academy and Rincon Valley Christian.
St. Vincent is 4-2 in league (5-7 overall), trailing Rincon Valley Christian (6-1) and league leader Sonoma Academy (7-0).
After playing Credo on Tuesday, St.Vincent goes after the big girls Thursday, playing league unbeaten Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa.
Tomales’ seven-player girls team is 2-4 in league, but a solid 8-5 overall.
The Lady Braves face a tough chore Thursday when they play title contender Rincon Valley Christian in Santa Rosa, but have a winnable game Saturday at home against Roseland University Prep.