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The St. Helena High School boys basketball team got back into the win column last Friday, defeating visiting Willits, 72-44.

The first quarter was a back and forth affair until Collin Darrall (15 points, three steals) knocked down a 3-pointer and then followed that up with a three-point play, hitting his free throw after being fouled on a made shot. The first quarter ended with the Saints (10-13 overall, 3-8 North Central League I) up 15-9.

In the second quarter, the Saints’ leading scorer, Ethan Battistini (22 points, nine rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots) scored nine points and Christian Iano (15 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals) connected on two 3-pointers, as the Saints scored 20 points in the quarter to take a 35-19 lead going into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Saints erupted for 25 points, their highest scoring output in a quarter this season. Battistini led the charge, knocking down two 3’s and scoring 12 points in the quarter. Stephen Collins (three points, two assists, two steals, one blocked shot) and Jonathan Gamble (five points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal) also connected from the field in the quarter, to give the Saints a 61-29 lead to start the fourth quarter.

Also playing well for the Saints were Nick Jeworowski (four points, 10 rebounds, one steal, one blocked shot), Olie Russum (six points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals), Zac Flood (two rebounds), Kostas Kelperis (one rebound, two blocked shots), and Doug Collins (one rebound, one assist).

On Tuesday, first-place Kelseyville handed St. Helena a 69-35 defeat in Kelseyville. Individual statistics were unavailable at print deadline.

With the loss and only three games remaining, the Saints have to win-out in order to meet the “even record rule” and automatically qualify for the North Coast Section playoffs.

They travel to Clear Lake (14-9) Friday before next Tuesday’s home finale against Fort Bragg (5-18) and league finale at Cloverdale (16-6) next Thursday.

Varsity Girls Basketball

Saints still searching for a league win

St. Helena is 2-20 overall and 0-11 in the NCL I, dropping its three most recent games, falling to Kelseyville at home Tuesday, 58-13, and on the road last week at Willits, 54-28, and Middletown, 52-13.

Against the Knights, Citlalli Garcia scored nine points and Lisa Lord had three.

Against the Wolverines on Friday, Lord had 10 points and Andrea Hernandez scored eight.

Against the Mustangs last Tuesday, Hernandez led the Saints with nine.

JV Boys Basketball

St. Helena 56, Willits 42

The Saints took care of business at home Friday, dispatching the visiting Wolverines behind strong performances from Jake Mendes (15 points, five rebounds, four steals), Caleb Granados (11 points, three rebounds), George Cutting (10 points, seven rebounds, one assist) and Ryland Campos (eight points, eight rebounds).