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There’s nothing like having a competitor breathing down your neck, forcing you to perform your best or be overtaken.

Then add the extra pressure that the shadow is your sister. Your little sister.

Petaluma High School’s top two girls golfers this year are the Catarozoli sisters, Sarah Jane, 16, and Lilly, 14.

So far, Sarah Jane, a junior, has been able to hold off her freshman sister and remain on top. But Lilly also has her sights on being the best.

The friendly competition has been good for the team, said coach Chris Jones, whose years at the helm have coincided with Sarah Jane’s first years in high school.

“They play very well together,” he said. “I asked Lance, their dad, if it was OK to put them at 1 and 2, not knowing the family dynamic. He said, ‘Absolutely, they get along very well.’

“It’s a little competitive,” Jones said. “It’s not so competitive that it’s a problem. It’s a good sisterly rivalry. As a coach, you like to see that.”

It helps that the sisters have played sports together for most of their lives.

“We try to push each other up,” Sarah Jane said. “There’s definitely a competitive element, but it’s different because we’re two years apart. I know she’s comparing her freshman scores to mine.”

The sisters often warm up together and, being Nos. 1 and 2, play in the same foursomes in Sonoma County League matches.

“After every shot, we normally say, ‘Good shot,’ ” Lilly said. “It’s good to know someone’s out there backing you up.”

Sarah Jane backs up her sister in more ways than one. Lilly is a Type-1 diabetic and has to manage her insulin levels closely, especially during periods of stress and exertion.

For several years in softball and basketball before they began golfing together, Lilly has had to “play up” on teams with older athletes so she could be around Sarah Jane if Lilly ever had an emergency.

Although she hasn’t always been the star when competing with more experienced players, Lilly said it has helped her become a tougher competitor.

But with golf, Lilly has earned her No. 2 spot on the 12-girl Trojan team.

“That happened pretty quickly,” Jones said. “She stepped right into that role.

“With Sarah Jane, since she was a freshman she’s been No. 1 on our team. With Lilly, I had heard the rumors that she was pretty good, and she fit right in.”

Sarah Jane has improved dramatically since her freshman year and now is consistently scoring around 39 or 40 in nine-hole competitions, Jones said.

He expects the same for Lilly.

The girls’ natural ability and openness to being coached is no surprise to anyone who recognizes their last name.

Their father, Lance Catarozoli, was a star basketball and baseball player at Casa Grande in the late 1980s. Three of his basketball records still stand: most points scored in a game (49), most points in a season (804) and most career points (1,513).

As the golf season winds down, the Catarozolis have their sights on helping the Trojans — currently in the upper half of the league behind undefeated Analy, followed by El Molino and Healdsburg — do well in the 18-hole SCL tournament Monday at Oakmont West golf course.

Then the girls will shoot for individual qualifying for North Coast Section play Oct. 26 and into November.

Sarah Jane missed qualifying last year by a few strokes, Jones said, but is expected to be among the top three singles to qualify this year with Analy’s Madison Beckett.

Reach Lori A. Carter at 521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.