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The Justin-Siena girls basketball team improved to 2-1 with a hard-fought 42-40 win at previously unbeaten St. Vincent de Paul in Petaluma on Thursday night.

In a game that was tightly contested throughout, the Braves found themselves down 31-25 to start the fourth quarter. However, Justin-Siena continued to fight and overcome a tough shooting night, closing the gap with a 5-0 run on an Ashlee Whittemore 3-pointer and Karlie Wells 2-pointer.

The Braves tied the game at 34 before falling behind again, only to tie it again at 38 on two straight baskets by Lexi Rosenbrand. After St. Vincent (3-1) made a free throw with just over a minute left, the Braves came down and Rosenbrand scored again, this time off of a pass from Whittemore, for a 40-39 lead.

After a Mustangs turnover, Rosenbrand was fouled on the inbounds play and made both free throws to put the Braves up 42-39. St. Vincent got to the line with two-tenths of a second left and made the first free throw but missed the second. Rosenbrand grabbed the rebound to keep the Mustangs from getting a tying tip-in and seal the victory.

“Definitely not our best shooting night, but we found a way to win by executing late and making some plays down the stretch,” said Justin-Siena head coach Andy Bettencourt. “We played with desperation and grit in the fourth quarter that had been missing for parts of the game, and our team did a great job of sticking together and continuing to believe in themselves. We know we have work to do, but this was definitely a good win for us to get over a quality opponent on the road.”

Whittemore finished with 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Lexi Rosenbrand added eight points and four rebounds, Wells six points, 14 rebounds and two steals, Grace Walter four4 points, three steals and two rebounds, Kiran Monteverdi three points and three rebounds, and Sarah Reynolds three points.

Prep Girls Tennis

Justin-Siena withdraws from NCS quarterfinal

After numerous rechedulings because of bad air quality from the Butte County fire, the 15th-seeded Braves were set to resume their CIF North Coast Section Div. 2 semifinal against No. 7 Head-Royce at Harbor Bay Tennis Club in Alameda on Friday.

Despite leading 1-0 and being ahead in three other matches when the match was first started and suspended on Nov. 8, too many Justin-Siena players had other commitments to be able to “have a respectable showing” Friday, assistant coach Jack Ring said, so they decided to let Head-Royce advance to Saturday’s semifinal against No. 3 Branson.

However, the Braves’ top two players, Vine Valley Athletic League champion Parvathi Shanker and runner-up Priyanka Shanker, are still entered in the Division 1 single bracket for the NCS Individual Tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Harbor Bay. Action begins at 10:30 a.m. each day.

Varsity Wrestling

Braves compete in tournament

Justin-Siena’s three returning North Coast Section qualifiers, Tommy Lopez, JP Negueloua and Jacob Guiducci, traveled to Half Moon Bay for the 52nd Annual Peninsula Invite on Saturday.

The largely Central Coast Section-attended event also drew from the North Coast, Sac-Joaquin, Northern and Southern sections.

Guiducci managed three wins en route to a sixth-place medal finish at 120 pounds. The sophomore, who had one pin, won all of his matches against CCS opponents. His most impressive match of the day was a gritty 3-2 loss in the fifth-sixth place match against an opponent from Foothill-Bakersfield.

Neither Lopez nor Negueloua medaled, but both showed streaks of potential in the 20-team event.

“Our three wrestlers competed really well in a very tough tournament today,” Justin-Siena co-coach Jesse Ward said. “JP had two strong matches, Tommy bounced back from a loss to get a pin, and Jacob had a good showing in a very technical class. I’m very proud of this varsity team.”

The Braves next head to Vallejo on Dec. 5 to compete with friendly rival St. Patrick-St. Vincent in their Catholic Cup Dual.

Varsity Boys Basketball

Acalanes 52, American Canyon 45

Oliver Aandahl led the Wolves with 17 points and Gabe Patrick scored 12 as they dropped the fifth-place game of the Dawg Classic at San Rafael on Saturday.

Aandahl was voted onto the All-Tournament team for American Canyon, which beat Silver Creek on Friday.

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