The Vintage High girls basketball team used a strong fourth quarter to put away visiting Sonoma Valley on Thursday night, 39-29, denying the Dragons a sweep of the Napa teams in the first round of Vine Valley Athletic League play.
“Sonoma is a well-coached, gritty team that plays really good defense, so I expected it to be a low-scoring game,” said Crushers head coach Joe Donohoe. “Knowing Sonoma had already beaten Justin-Siena and Napa, I expected we’d have our work cut out for us. They dominated us on the boards for much of the night.”
Vintage (12-5, 5-0 VVAL) scored the game’s first nine points but led just 9-4 after one quarter, 16-14 at halftime and 25-24 after three. But the Crushers held Sonoma Valley (2-2 VVAL) to five points in the final frame to prevail.
“Our bench really made the difference tonight in the late third and early fourth quarter, coming in and playing fantastic defense,” Donohoe added. “It was a grind all night and we did enough to protect home court.”
Along with the Dragons’ dominance on the boards, the Crushers had to overcome a 2-of-12 night from the line.
“Free-throw shooting and being outrebounded is something we need to focus on at practice,” Donohoe said. “Our effort was there. We just didn’t hit our stride until late. But I’m very proud of all the girls for battling through what was obviously not our best night, and figuring out how to get a league win.”
The Crushers’ scorers were Alyssa Andrews (10 points, three assists), Kate Ilsley (10 points, five rebounds), Nicole Gleeson (nine points, seven rebounds, five steals), Maya Sapienza (eight points, four rebounds) and Mo Groves (two points, seven rebounds).
Donohoe said Dellaina Morse, Victoria Solorio, Ellie Savage and Eden Wood played well defensively for Vintage, which hosts nonleague Bethel (9-8) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Sonoma Valley 37, Justin-Siena 31
After taking a 4-2 lead Tuesday night, the visiting Braves absorbed their first VVAL loss after host Sonoma Valley used a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. Justin-Siena (10-7, 3-1 VVAL) pulled within 29-27 late in the fourth, but the Dragons hit a big 3-pointer and made their free throws down the stretch.
Sonoma Valley was 9 of 10 from the line, while the Braves were 4 of 8.
“Definitely a tough loss,” Braves head coach Andy Bettencourt said. “Sonoma deserves a ton of credit. They were more physical than we were, and were able to win more loose-ball battles. When there were free throws, they made theirs at a much higher clip than we did, and that really hurt us. We have a lot of belief in our team and know we will bounce back.”
The Dragons held top Braves scoring threat Ashlee Whittemore, who came in averaging 19.3 points, to a season-low nine points. She also had four assists and four steals.
Also scoring for Justin-Siena were Kiran Monteverdi (eight points, two rebounds), Karlie Wells (four points, eight rebounds, two assists), Isabella Wright (four points, seven rebounds), Ella Thatcher (four points, two steals) and Lexi Rosenbrand (two points, four rebounds).
The Braves visit Casa Grande (3-1 VVAL) for a second-place battle at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Varsity Boys Soccer
Napa 4, American Canyon 0
The Grizzlies bounced back from Tuesday’s Big Game loss with an impressive shutout at American Canyon on Thursday night.
Scoring for Napa (7-3, 3-1 VVAL) were Samuel Villanueva, Finnigan Stuhan, Julio Alonzo and Irving Flores.