The third time proved to be a charm for the Petaluma boys basketball team.
After losing twice to Analy during the regular season, the Trojans won the third meeting Saturday night at SRJC in the Sonoma County League tournament final, 27-26.
In the girls title game played on the same court earlier in the evening, Sonoma Valley defeated Analy, 37-31.
The first meeting between the Petaluma and Analy boys on Jan. 14 ended in a 12-point win for the Tigers. On Feb. 5, the visiting Tigers escaped with a one-point win.
Analy had one last chance to continue its mastery over the Trojans on Saturday. The Tigers trailed by a point but had the ball with 4.4 seconds left on the clock. However, Travis Holmes’ layup hit iron and rolled out as the buzzer sounded.
Petaluma led most of the way and took a 27-24 lead on two free throws by Ryan Cox.
Jordan Armstrong then made two free throws for Analy.
Following a missed free throw by Petaluma, the Tigers called time out. Holmes took the in-bounds pass and raced down the court for what would’ve been the winning basket.
“It was one of those games you walk out of the gym feeling lucky to have won,” Petaluma coach Scott Behrs said.
Analy is one of the top-scoring teams in the Redwood Empire. The 26 points is a season low. The previous low was 37 in a loss to Arroyo on Dec. 28.
“The reason for the low scoring was intense defense by both teams,” Tigers coach Brett Page said. “Also we were a little nervous playing at the JC.”
Behrs agreed about the sticky defense. “Both teams played clamp-down defense,” he said.
Leading the Petaluma offense was Kelly Garber with 10 points. Ryan Perez, usually the Trojans’ top scorer, was limited to five points.
Nick Fujii, who has the top average for Analy, had just two.
Armstrong was the Tigers’ leading scorer with eight. He also had 18 rebounds and four blocks.
Petaluma is 19-8; Analy is 20-8.
In the girls game:
SONOMA VALLEY 37, ANALY 31
The Dragons stretched their win streak to 13 and in the process won the league tournament.
It was the first time Sonoma Valley has won the SCL tourney and with it comes an automatic invitation to the North Coast Section tournament. The Dragons will play Tuesday night, with the opponent to be announced today.
Analy and the Dragons split two prior meetings and shared the regular-season title. Saturday night, however, the Tigers had no answer for Sonoma’s defense and rebounding.
Analy made only 9 of 39 shots from the field, including 2 of 16 from behind the 3-point line.
“We had outstanding intensity and rotations on defense,” Dragons coach Sil Coccia said. “I was very happy with the effort.”
The Dragons also had a big advantage on the boards.
Sonoma grabbed 51 rebounds, 23 on the offensive end. Meanwhile Analy could control only nine offensive rebounds.
Coccia said it was one of the most physical games he’s coached.
“It was a war,” he said. “The referees let the girls play.”