The Petaluma High School boys basketball Trojans played hard in their final home appearance of the season Wednesday night. But they did not play very well.
It wasn’t a lack of effort so much as it was a lack of accurate shooting and consistent defense that cost the Trojans in a 62-46 loss to Analy.
With a huge student rooting section ready to salute the Trojan seniors and celebrate their success, Petaluma stumbled for the fourth consecutive time, dropping from title contender to a marginal North Coast Section playoff participant.
Petaluma is on the bubble for a NCS playoff berth. With 16 teams invited to the dance, Petaluma is currently ranked 18th in Division 2.
Petaluma’s defense kept it solvent through the first quarter and cautiously optimistic through the first half, but the best efforts of its enthusiastic support system were in vain through a raggedly played second half.
Petaluma simply could not get the basketball to drop through the hoop despite several good opportunities in the initial half. The Trojans made just four baskets in the entire first half. Three of those were from behind the arc, with Jack Anderson, Robbie Isetta and Kenny Alexander all hitting bombs.
Mostly, however, Petaluma managed to stay in its own gym with determination and defense.
The Trojans reached the first break trailing just 8-7. Analy went on a nine-point run to open the second quarter, and by the midpoint was on top, 29-16.
Things looked briefly brighter when Anderson connected on another trey to open the second half, but in their next possession, the Trojans had five tries from in close, and came away with zilch. They never recovered.
Brendan O’Neill, playing at his usual furious pace to the very end, sparked a brief Petaluma surge at the outset of the fourth period, but the Trojans could move no closer than 17.
The game’s conclusion was a tiresome four minutes of fouls and fumbles. Although Petaluma fans found shouting reasons in Teddy Critchett’s 3-pointer and a basket and free throw from Zack Clark.
Anderson finished with 12 points to lead Petaluma, while Devin Gottschall, O’Neill and Justin Wolbert each scored seven.
Guard JJ Fain hit three big treys for Analy, leading the Tigers with 21 points. Quinn Vermeulan added 14, mostly on penetrating drives, and Cason Roberts scored 13, hitting 6-of-6 from the foul line.
Before the game, Petaluma honored seniors Whitaker Ellis, Anderson, O’Neill, Critchett, Wolbert, Trey Davis, Robert Holmes and Gottschall.
Loss at Healdsburg
Petaluma concluded it regular season with a 48-38 loss at Healdsburg on Friday.
Petaluma trailed the Sonoma County League champions just 21-18at the half but could not stay with the home Hounds over the final two periods.
O’Neil led Petaluma with 16 points.
Petaluma finishes the regular season with a 12-14 overall record and 6-6 in Sonoma County League play.
The Trojans were to play the first round of the SCL Tournament Wednesday at Healdsburg. Results of that game were not available at press time.