The Napa High girls basketball team remained third in the Vine Valley Athletic League with a 55-44 win over visiting American Canyon on Tuesday and a 53-51 win at Petaluma on Thursday.
On Senior Night against American Canyon, the Grizzlies (15-10, 6-5 VVAL) honored captains Jane McLoughlin and Siena Young, along with Jenna Baker, Sofia Brandon and Caitlyn Neal.
“They are wonderful ladies who have worked extremely hard during their tenure at Napa High School,” head coach Darci Ward said.
Brandon had nine points, hitting a 3-pointer in each of the last three quarters, and also had three rebounds and two steals. Young had five points, two rebounds, two steals and a block. McLoughlin had four points and an assist. Baker had four points, including a first-quarter trey, and two rebounds, an assist and a block. Neal had four points and four rebounds.
Carly Johnson led Napa with 15 points and four steals and added three rebounds and two assists. Maizy Armstrong-Brown had eight points, with 3-pointers in the second and fourth quarters, and added four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Anna Ghisletta had six points, two steals and an assist.
The Grizzlies led 12-11, 32-16 and 42-19 between quarters, as the Wolves made it close with a 25-13 fourth.
The win against Petaluma was harder to come by.
“This was an extremely exciting and close game,” Ward said. “Petaluma had just come off getting its first win against Casa Grande since 2009 and knocking (the Gauchos) out of the tie they had going with Vintage for first place.”
Napa trailed 51-50 with 33 seconds left, when Ghisletta converted a free throw to tie it. Casa Grande then committed a turnover near the sideline, but Napa was unable to capitalize. With four seconds left, the Gauchos had possession but had to inbound under the Grizzlies’ basket.
Ghisletta got a steal near the 3-point arc, attacked the key and from about mid-key, banked in the winning basket with a second to spare.
“It was amazing,” Ward said.
Young led Napa on the night with 14 pounds and five rebounds and added an assist, steal and block.
Charlotte Gerard had eight points, three assists, a rebound and a steal, Ghisletta eight points four steals and three rebounds, and Brandon eight points, two steals and a rebound.
Johnson had six points, four assists, two rebound, two steals and a block. Baker had five points, two rebounds and a steal. Faith Bartlett had two points, a rebound and a block, and McLoughlin two points, a rebound, a steal and an assist.
Napa led 21-11 after the first quarter, when Young hit 5 of 6 free throws, and 30-28 after Gerrard drained two 3-pointers in the second. Petaluma led 41-39 after three quarters. But down the stretch, the Grizzlies kept Petaluma from inbounding to force a five-second violation, created two more turnovers, and sealed it with a steal.
“I credit the girls for not giving up and fighting until the very end and putting themselves in a great spot to win the game,” said Ward. “Their defense was fantastic in the last minute or so.”
On Monday, Napa visits Casa Grande and Vintage visits Justin-Siena. If the Grizzlies and Crushers win, Napa will visit Casa Grande again and Justin will visit Vintage on Wednesday night in the first round of the VVAL Tournament. The winners will meet for the title Friday night at American Canyon.