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Prep basketball teams on tournament trail

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After a week’s break to take a breath, regroup and recharge, area high school basketball players get back on the court with renewed zeal this weekend.

Although there will be no academic challenges for another two weeks, basketball returns with a slam this weekend, with Petaluma and Casa Grande boys teams in tournaments and the Casa girls participating in the huge West Coast Jamboree.

As we head toward the new year, here is how area high school teams stand:

Petaluma boys

The Trojans are off to a 5-4 start playing a solid lineup of pre-Sonoma County League opponents.

Petaluma let its final pre-Christmas game slip away last Friday, losing at San Rafael, 43-42. Petaluma led, 34-30, going into the final period, but scored just eight points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs rallied for the victory.

Petaluma will play in the Clovis Elks Tournament this weekend before opening Sonoma County League play on Jan. 4 at Elsie Allen.

Petaluma opens the Clovis tourney against Caruthers.

Casa Grande boys

Casa’s Gauchos are 2-8 on the season, but more hurtingly, 0-1 in North Bay League play, after losing at Windsor before the holiday break, 59-35.

The loss was the second straight to the Jaguars for the Gauchos, who were beaten by Windsor, 57-39, for third place in the Callan Invitational Tournament.

The Gauchos take a break from NBL play to participate in Piner High School’s Sonoma County Classic on Friday and Saturday before resuming league play Feb. 3 with a league game against Maria Carrillo.

St. Vincent boys

After losing a tough game against San Domenico last Friday (see game story page B3), St. Vincent’s Mustangs start their North Central League II season at home on Jan. 3 against Sonoma Academy.

St. Vincent is 1-7 for the season.

Tomales boys

Tomales’ Braves haven’t played since Dec. 12 when they put together their best game of the season to defeat North Bay Christian Academy from Novato, 58-12.

Now 2-6, the Braves start their North Central League II season at home Jan. 3 against Rincon Valley Christian.

Petaluma Girls

Petaluma’s T-Girls zipped into the Christmas break working on a three-game winning streak after beating Los Lomas, 54-31, last Friday.

Petaluma jumped out to a 13-9 opening-quarter lead and never trailed against Los Lomas, but didn’t really put the game away until the final period when it outscored Los Lomas, 17-6.

Senior Nichole Costa and sophomore Sherlene Arikat led a list of Petaluma scorers with 11 points each, while Kaileigh Pate added six.

Now 8-4 on the season, Petaluma will tune up for Sonoma County League play with a non-league home game Friday against Rancho Cotate, before opening league Jan. 3 at Healdsburg.

Casa Grande girls

Casa Grande’s girls end the year in the biggest girls basketball tournament in Northern California when they play in the West coast Jamboree on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Casa Grande is in the Amethyst Division and will open play Thursday at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo at 11:30 a.m. against John Swett.

Casa Grande goes into the tournament with a 5-3 record after losing to Windsor, 46-40, in the NBL opener for both last week.

SV girls

The St. Vincent girls get a final tuneup Friday at Healdsburg before beginning North Central League II play Jan. 3 at home against Sonoma Academy.

St. Vincent goes into the Healdsburg game with a 1-4 league record that includes losses to both Casa Grande and Petaluma.

Tomales girls

Tomales girls haven’t played since Dec. 9. When on the floor, they have played well, winning five on six games.

They next play an NCL II opener Jan. 3 at home against Rincon Valley Christian.