Petaluma girls hold off Hounds’ challenge

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In a game featuring all the fundamentals of hardwood play from many seasons ago, the Petaluma T-Girls kept the line moving in their current eight-game win streak with a well-played 43-29 win over dangerous Healdsburg on Tuesday.

The game was completely devoid of full-court defenses as the two teams pounded the ball up the floor where they were met with well-planned man defenses, and it got personal at times.

There was not a great deal of clutching and grabbing in this one, which ended after only 68 minutes. Petaluma improved to 7-0 in the Sonoma County League and 16-5 for the season.

The Lady Hounds, who dropped an overtime thriller to Petaluma in their home opener, came into the game with an SCL record of 4-2 after upsetting Analy 54-45 last week. A win would have pulled the surging Hounds to within one game of first place.

Hannah Webb, who crippled the T-Girls with her 3-point shooting and 16 points earlier in the season, was not a factor this time around. Natasha Marsden had 14 points for the Greyhounds.

T-Girl center Jaden Krist came out of the blocks firing, knocking down eight points in the first quarter, and Petaluma grabbed the early advantage at 12-7.

The Hounds settled in after the Krist assault, and cut the lead to 12-11 on hustling play underneath, but the visitors never got completely over the hump. Petaluma grimly held on to a 21-15 advantage at halftime, and the lead melted to one point on two occasions before a couple of T-Girls came off the bench to give their club a jolt of energy.

Sophomore Sheriene Arikat continued her year-long solid contribution as the first substitution with six points in the final stanza, and her efforts completely took the heart out of a Hound comeback. At times it looked like Healdsburg was ready to kick up its offense with quick ball screens that opened up drives to the basket. Arikat answered each Hound basket with one of her own, and wound up with 11 points. She has averaged 12 points for the T-Girls in the last four games.

Krist played the role of rim protector, and she deflected four balls out of the painted area in addition to pacing the T-Girls with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was one of her best efforts since earning all-tournament honors at Tamalpais earlier in the season. While Krist clogged up the paint, the T-Girls focused on Webb.

The second player who brought welcome energy to the fray for Petaluma was junior Angelina Scaccalosi. Scaccalosi knows only one speed, and that is full throttle with hard drives toward the hoop. She earned extra playing time from coach Jon Ratshin, and the hard-charging junior canned eight points to match teammate Kaleigh Pate.

Scaccalosi made the most of her extended playing time, and she opened the door for more possible minutes in the future. “I really want to play, but I know that drives from the left side would help me as well. I’m going to keep working on the left hand. It’s just not something I do naturally,” she said.

Petaluma closed things out with a healthy 15-4 advantage in the final stanza.

Petaluma also captured the junior varsity game 42-26.

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