The rivalry between Calistoga and St. Helena is far from what it once was, with most sports at the two schools rarely meeting these days.
But on Thursday, a new entry was logged in the girls basketball rivalry when the Saint and the Wildcats faced off in the opening round of round robin play of the Gene Duffy Holiday Classic.
This battle was over quickly and went to Calistoga, as the Wildcats opened the game on a 20-1 run en route to a 55-11 win over their Upvalley rival.
“We need court time this early in the season and we just got some good time here tonight,” Calistoga head coach Ray Particelli said. “I hope we run into some opponents that give us problems that we have to work our way out of, but with the personnel that we had to face today I think we did a solid job.”
The Wildcats' rout of the Saints (0-6) was their second win of the day. The tournament hosts also handled Summerfield Waldorf, 45-17, earlier in the day.
Calistoga (3-0) started its rivalry game in its normal hard press which gave St. Helena (0-6) trouble. The Wildcats opened on a 10-0 run before Zoe Long scored the first point by a free throw for St. Helena late in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the visiting Saints, the first quarter was where they found the most success, scoring five of their total 11 points in game. Calistoga went on to shut out the Saints in the third quarter, 16-0. A positive for the Saints was the play of freshman center Peyton Myers in the second half. She scored a team-high four points and grabbed three rebounds for the game.
The post player moved well in the paint with Calistoga sporting a smaller lineup for the second half.
“This rivalry game and rivalries like this should never die, it’s good for the kids,” Particelli said. “Before the game five or six girls from each team were hugging each other in warm ups, they are friends. I wish we could play everybody in the valley.”
Senior guard Litzy Infante scored a game-high 16 points, hauled in 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in the contest, while fellow senior Lizbet Escobedo added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
“What we have to do whether we play the best team in the world or the worst team in the world, is try to do our stuff well. That is all that really matters,” Particelli said. “Even though we're rusty, we have a pretty good idea what we want to do, for the next month is fine tuning just getting better at it.”
The Wildcats do not have a game in round robin play on Friday. They'll be back in action on Saturday.
A late school drop out on the boys side of the Duffy Tournament forced the Wildcats to play against their junior varsity squad, but the glorified scrimmage for bragging rights actually proved to be a bit of a contest as the younger Wildcats scrapped hard and pushed the varsity team. Eventually, the varsity team, led by a team-high 12 points from sophomore Jonathan Koffler, pulled away for a 51-30 victory.
In other results from Thursday:
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Game 1: Summerfield Waldorf 43, Technology 39
Game 2: Ferndale 49, Roseland Collegiate Prep 39
Game 3: Credo defeats Victory Christian (no score provided)
Technology 29, Roseland Collegiate 19
Boys (small gym)
Technology vs. Roseland Collegiate, 3:30 p.m.
Summerfield Waldorf vs. Ferndale, 5 p.m.
Victory Christian vs. TBA or Calistoga JV, 6:30 p.m.
Credo vs. Calistoga, 8 p.m.
Girls (large gym)
Credo vs. Roseland Collegiate, 5 p.m.
St. Helena vs. Summerfield Waldorf, 6:30 p.m.
Credo vs. Technology, 8 p.m.
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