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Prep teams wrapping up winter seasons

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Two high schools that had troubled fall sports seasons are rebounding with championships in winter sports.

Healdsburg, whose football team is still recovering from an aborted season two years ago, clinched the North Bay League-Redwood Division basketball title Wednesday night with a resounding victory over El Molino.

Elsie Allen, which didn’t field a varsity team this season after several years of disorder in its football program, won the NBL-Redwood boys wrestling title Wednesday after going undefeated, 5-0, in dual meets.

Meanwhile, several other teams have clinched league titles in basketball, soccer and wrestling as the regular season winds down — while a few will come down to the final game or two.

The Greyhounds, 9-0 with one game left, defeated El Molino, 82-34, and will hang a league banner. At 7-2 in second place, Maria Carrillo can’t catch the ’Hounds.

But his team isn’t done, Healdsburg coach Yasha Mokaram said.

“I don’t want to be satisfied because these guys want to win (North Coast Section) games,” he said. “Their goal is to win two NCS games. That’s going to be a challenge.”

Healdsburg is led by junior Dylan Hayman, who averages 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. Recovering from an ankle injury is sophomore Graham MacDonald, who at 6-foot-8 is averaging 10 points and seven boards. Mokaram hopes the big man will be fit for section play, which begins Feb. 19.

The NCS seedings for basketball and other winter sports will be announced on Feb. 16.

Other sports and leagues:

Basketball

The Piner boys, at 9-0, have clinched the NBL-Oak title over 6-3 Cardinal Newman. Piner continues its winning ways from a record-setting football season.

In the Vine Valley Athletic League, Vintage, 8-2, Petaluma, 7-2, and Sonoma Valley, 6-3, are still fighting for the crown. The league plays 12 games.

In girls basketball, 9-0 Rancho Cotate won the NBL-Redwood title over 7-2 Carrillo, while Cardinal Newman, undefeated at 10-0, downed 8-2 Montgomery on Thursday night to secure the NBL-Oak crown.

Casa Grande, 9-1, ran away with the VVAL title with Napa, 6-4, the Gauchos’ nearest competitor.

Soccer

Soccer finds several titles still in the balance, although the Montgomery boys, 7-0, have clinched the NBL-Oak, and the Casa girls, 9-0-1, appear to have won the VVAL, barring collapse in their final two games.

The Gauchos defeated their closest rival, Petaluma, 1-0 on Wednesday to likely secure the title. The Trojans are 7-1-1 and have three matches remaining. They would need to win all three and have Casa lose to force a tie.

The NBL-Redwood boys have Carrillo at the top, 7-2-1, over second-place Piner, 5-1-3, and Analy, 6-3, in third.

League play is 12 games, so this race has yet to be determined. Some repositioning could happen in the next week as each team has two or three games left.

VVAL boys are in the same position, with Vintage at 8-1 and Napa 8-2. Sonoma County’s three VVAL teams are out of the race.

Santa Rosa girls soccer is tentatively at the top, 7-0, with Rancho Cotate, 7-1, breathing down the Panthers’ necks. The rivals meet on Thursday, which could be the deciding game if both keep up their winning ways until then.

The Oak division has even more crowded traffic at the top for girls soccer: Newman is 8-1-1, Montgomery 8-2 and Carrillo 7-2-1 with two games left for each, none against each other.

NCS games begin Feb. 19.

Wrestling

Wrestling is a mix of head-to-head dual meets and multi-team tournaments, and in dual-meet league competitions, all the banner winners went undefeated.

In the NBL-Oak, the Ukiah boys continued their typically strong showing by winning all five meets, including over second-place Maria Carrillo, 4-1, and Windsor, 3-2. The Wildcats defeated the Jags, 69-6, Wednesday to clinch.

The Casa boys went 6-0 in the VVAL, while the El Molino and Windsor girls both were undefeated at 5-0.

Windsor’s girls team clinched the banner in exciting fashion Wednesday with a 42-37 victory over previously undefeated Ukiah, now 4-1.

“It was a close and amazing battle for all the girls,” Jags coach Rich Dixon said.

Wrestling league championships for the NBL and VVAL will be Feb. 14-15 and the NCS meet is the following week.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

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