The Vintage High boys basketball team turned the tables on Petaluma, avenging last month’s 46-31 road loss with a 49-26 defensive clinic at home Saturday night and pulling into a first-place tie with the Trojans and Sonoma Valley.
The halfcourt trap defense that fueled the Crushers’ comeback win over Justin-Siena the night before helped them lead Petaluma 13-7, 24-11 and 29-18 between quarters.
Imani Lopez led Vintage (14-9, 7-2 VVAL) with 14 points and had 3 rebounds, while Logan Nothmann scored 13, Ethan Hemmerlin had 9 points, Josh McCormick added 7 points and 3 boards, and Blake Murray had 4 points.
“What a night,” Crushers head coach Ben Gongora said. “We were dialed in, on a mission. We came out swinging from the start and immediately landed blow after blow with our defense. We turned up the intensity even more with our traps holding Petaluma to only two field goals for a four-point second period. There was no let up.
“We wanted to prove a point. Petaluma got us at their place and we felt that game wasn’t an accurate portrait of Vintage basketball. Tonight was. Holding Petaluma to 7, 4, 7 and 8 is an impressive defensive feat. We know how to defend. We put on a defensive clinic tonight. To play as aggressive as we did on defense and only commit two second-half fouls? That’s near perfect.”
Gongora said Luke Williams, Loren Castro and Murray shined on defense.
“Tonight doesn’t happen without their muscle and fight down in the trenches,” he said.
The Crushers host Sonoma Valley at 7 p.m. Wednesday in what will be a first-place showdown as well as their “Senior Night” regular-season home finale.
“The goal is to go 1-0 on Wednesday and send these seniors out with a W,” Gongora added. “It won’t be easy, but we’ll be ready.”
American Canyon 70, Casa Grande 62
The Wolves rebounded from Wednesday’s loss at Justin Siena with Friday’s home win at Casa Grande, which saw them lead wire to wire but never by more than 10 points.
They led just 57-55 late in the third quarter when senior Paulo Tiotuyco scored all 7 of his points in a flurry of steals, layups and a 3-pointer to provide some breathing room.
Oliver Aandahl scored a game-high 27 points in continuing an impressive senior campaign.
“We all played well together,” American Canyon head coach Scott Hayburn said. “Chemistry is still a work in progress, but we are playing a lot better together. It felt really good to get this win that we needed.
“The kids played inspired basketball tonight. They wanted to avenge our loss from earlier in the year in their building, I’m incredibly proud of the way we responded after a tough game (47-35 loss at Justin-Siena) Wednesday night. Paulo and Oliver, specifically, were leaders tonight on the court and they have both really stepped up to be leaders off the court as well.”
The fourth-place Wolves (9-10, 4-4 VVAL) host fifth-place Napa High on Wednesday night.
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Varsity Girls Basketball
Casa Grande 69, American Canyon 29
Jazmine Fontilla’s 14 points led the Wolves in Saturday’s VVAL loss in Petaluma, where the Gauchos took a 40-10 halftime lead and never looked back.
Amaree Bennett added 7 points for American Canyon (8-15, 1-7 VVAL), while Trinity Billingsley and Cameron Genteroy each chipped in 4.
JV Girls Basketball
Petaluma 37, Vintage 32
The Crushers hit the road Saturday and came up just short against Petaluma in a tightly contested game, falling to 8-1 in VVAL play and 20-2 overall.
Gianna McDaniel had 11 points, 4 assists and 6 steals and Katy Gibbs had 7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, an assist and 2 blocked shots to lead Vintage, which also got strong play from Kayla Cleveland (6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists), Sophie Lerner (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals), Sophie Notaro (2 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist), Paige Simpkins (2 points) and Ella Pridmore (8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist).
Casa Grande 50, American Canyon 48, OT
The Gauchos avenged last month’s 33-28 road loss with Saturday’s win at American Canyon, outscoring the Wolves during the three-minute overtime.
Freshman Boys Basketball
Vintage splits VVAL games
The Crushers moved to 5-4 in VVAL play and 13-7 overall after splitting a pair of home games, Friday night’s 50-32 win over Justin-Siena and Saturday night’s 49-39 loss to Petaluma.
On Friday, Vintage trailed 10-7 after one quarter but outscored Justin-Siena 43-22 over the last three. Sam Gomez led the Crushers with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Sam Loomis hit three 3-pointers and had 11 points, and Ben Jackson and Elias Alvarez each scored 6.
On Saturday, Vintage tried to hand Petaluma its first league loss of the season. But the Trojans hit seven 3-pointers and played a suffocating defense that slowed the game down, Crushers coach Drew Willems said, adding, “Every time we got to within 4 or 5 points, they usually answered with a 3-pointer.
“Despite the loss, I felt like this was our best effort of the season and I’m proud of our team focus tonight; we played every possession.”
The Crushers were led by Jackson’s 12 points, Alvarez’s 11 points, Sam Gomez’s 6 points and 11 rebounds, while Collin Durfee came off the bench to spark them with 5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.