In an early-season battle on Tuesday night between NBL undefeated teams, host Windsor used its inside muscle to overcome pesky Maria Carrillo 59-51 and stay in first place.
“We beat Maria Carrillo on the boards,” Windsor coach Travis Taylor said. “We never could quite put them away. They played well and have a bunch of shooters.”
The Jaguars’ (4-0, 12-4) win sets up a showdown Thursday night at Windsor against Montgomery, the other undefeated NBL team after the Vikings defeated Cardinal Newman on Tuesday.
“This will be a good early-season league game,” Taylor said of Thursday night’s affair. “We have to bring our defensive shoes from tip to buzzer.”
Against the Pumas (3-1, 8-8), the Jaguars had too much firepower in the middle thanks to the Smith brothers — Justin (23 points, 6 rebounds) and Riley (21 points, 10 rebounds) — who dominated the paint. Teammate Travis Carlozzi added 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Pumas, who dropped into a third-place tie with Cardinal Newman, were led by Luke Sherman (15 points) and David Frank (11 points).
With the score tied 26-26 at halftime, Windsor turned up its transition defense in the second half, which made a difference down the stretch.
“Tonight was not our best night defensively,” Taylor said, “but we played with more urgency in the second half.”
Piner 51, Petaluma 47
The Prospectors (1-1, 11-5) relied on heady free throw shooting in the fourth quarter (17 of 22) to ice a close game. The loss drops the Trojans (2-1, 8-8) into second place behind Healdsburg in the SCL.
“It was a back-and-forth game and the lead kept changing,” Piner coach Mike Erickson said. “With three minutes to go we got the lead, and down the stretch we made our free throws. We executed at the line and that kept our cushion.”
Piner made only two buckets from the field in the fourth quarter but the massive number of free throws put it over the top.
“Twenty free throws in one period is unheard of,” Petaluma coach Scott Behrs said. “They were able to connect from the line which dictated the outcome of the game.”
Piner’s Jared Saddler (13 points) was 10 of 12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Teamwise, the Prospectors were 22 of 32 for the game in free throws and the Trojans were 10 of 16.
Chris Gutierrez added 10 points and 14 rebounds for Piner.
Petaluma was led by Brendan O’Neill with 20 points (12 in the fourth quarter). Jack Anderson scored 12 points.
Healdsburg 59, Analy 29
The host Greyhounds (3-0, 11-5) maintained sole possession of first place in the SCL after routing the inexperienced Tigers (1-1, 4-12).
Healdsburg led 24-8 after the first quarter and 36-16 at halftime.
“We wanted to make an effort to run Analy off the 3-point line and force them to go inside against our big guys,” Healdsburg coach Yasha Mokaram said. “We beat them pretty bad on the glass.”
Healdsburg’s plan worked as Analy had zero points from the 3-point line despite pumping up at least half-a-dozen threes. Meanwhile, offensively the Greyhounds successfully pounded the ball down low.