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College sports are a reckoning for athletes as they discover they’re not in high school anymore and they won’t be dominating every event. Well, except for Riley Scott.

Scott, a true freshman at USC, has pretty much picked up where she left off as a Petaluma High swimmer and North Coast Section champion. Two weekends ago at the Women’s Pac-12 Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash., she finished second in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke (setting a personal record in the 200 at 2:08.84) and took eighth in the 200 individual medley. Scott also swam the breaststroke leg on teams that finished third in the 200 and 400 relays.

Our 2014 All-Empire Girls Swimmer of the Year helped the Trojans win their first conference women’s title in swimming.

And Scott isn’t the only Empire product doing big things at Southern Cal. Sophomore Jon Knox, who swam at Analy, was eighth in the 200-yard backstroke at the Men’s Pac-12 championships at the same pool outside of Tacoma, Wash., last weekend. Knox just missed the A final in the 100 back, and his team was fourth in the 200 free relay.

Brockley qualifies for trials

Maria Carrillo and Neptune swimmer Piper Brockley qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials last week during the Arena Pro Series swim meet in Orlando, Fla.

Brockley swam the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.08, beating her previous best time by 1.2 seconds. The Olympic trials qualifying time is 1:11.49. Brockley is also working to qualify in the 200 breast.

The trials will be held in Omaha, Neb., in late June.

Brockley, a senior, is the 2015 All-Empire Girls Swimmer of the Year. She will attend USC in the fall.

Smith commits to Pacific

Hance Smith became the fourth Casa Grande baseball player to verbally commit to a Division I university when he announced he intends to play for Pacific next year. Those already having made decisions are Chris Joaquim (Cal), Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) and A.J. Miller (Oregon).

The Gauchos have started the season 3-1 with their only loss coming to crosstown rival Petaluma.

Montgomery back in state

Montgomery’s girls basketball team is in the CIF State Tournament for the second time in four years. The 2013 team was invited and defeated Pleasant Valley (54-42) in the opening round.

Among the players on that team were Claire Donnelly, Ashlee Wilson, Kiana Hawkins and Chantal Evett.

The Vikings will host St. Ignatius tonight and coach Steve Bell is not being misled by the San Francisco school’s record of 13-14.

“They play in the West Catholic League with St. Francis and Serra,” he said. “That’s an extremely tough league and their record is absolutely deceiving.”

The Wildcats have a strong inside-outside game featuring Ayzhiana Basallo and forward Nahris Pierce.

Other keys to success

While the high scorers or the sky-scraping basketball players tend to grab the headlines, several playoff-bound teams have lower-profile players that provide a special component for success.

Tal Webb, a 5-9 sophomore on the Cardinal Newman girls team, is a steady force as one of the team’s starting guards. As a second-year varsity player, Webb averages more than 8 points a game for the No. 1 Cardinals, who have a bye this week in the first round of NorCals Division 4.

Gerardo Torales of Anderson Valley, who while not a starter, averages about three points a game. Torales was honored with an all-league honorable mention for the Panthers, who play Chester tonight in a Division 6 game.

Sports awards

Mark your calendars. The Press Democrat’s annual All-Empire sports awards ceremony will be Wednesday, May 11, at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa.

Phil Barber, Lori A. Carter, Howard Senzell and Richard J. Marcus contributed to this report.

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