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The Petaluma girls basketball team relied on a huge second-half comeback to emerge victorious against visiting Analy 60-50 on Friday night in an early-season battle for first place in the Sonoma County League.

Petaluma (4-0, 12-5) trailed 30-19 after a lackluster first half, but then outscored Analy 41-20 in the second half for the win. The Trojans are alone in first place in the SCL with the Tigers (3-1, 9-9) dropping back to second place.

“In the second quarter we had some foul trouble and Analy took advantage of that,” Petaluma coach Jon Ratshin said. “At halftime we challenged the girls to match the effort and hustle that Analy was exhibiting.”

The Trojans did just that behind senior Kelsey Martin, who had 23 points and five rebounds.

“This was Kelsey’s best game of the season and best in the last two years,” Ratshin said. “She has struggled shooting all year, but tonight her hard work paid off.”

Kaliegh Pate added 12 points for Petaluma.

Analy was led by Isabel Housman with 17 points.

The third quarter was the turning point, as Petaluma outscored Analy 22-8 and went from trailing by 11 points to leading by three.

“In the third quarter we switched to zone and that hurt Analy. In the fourth quarter we attacked and were able to find open looks,” Ratshin said. “When we picked up the energy level, it really turned the corner for us.”

Ukiah 32, Santa Rosa 26

Both teams came in tied for third place in the North Bay League, but it was the host Wildcats (4-2, 10-7) who remained in third place after winning a defensive struggle.

With the game tied 14-14 at halftime and Ukiah leading 18-17 after three quarters, a 14-9 fourth-quarter edge propelled the Wildcats against the Panthers (3-3, 9-7).

“It was tight all the way. They don’t ask if you win ugly, they only ask if you win,” Ukiah coach Duane Nelson joked. “Every basket meant something.”

Nelson said neither team turned the ball over — instead, tough defense by both squads triumphed against the offenses.

“Santa Rosa played good defense,” Nelson said. “They are big and strong and like to pound the ball inside. We packed it in (on defense) and Santa Rosa did not shoot well from the outside.”

Ukiah played without its leading scorer, Natae Henson, who averages 14 points a game and is the only senior on the Wildcats.

“Everyone else had to pick it up a little bit with Natae out,” Nelson said.

While the Wildcats didn’t make up for the offensive void in terms of points, they had enough firepower in the fourth quarter when it mattered.

Ukiah was led by Lani Lincoln with nine points (six in the fourth quarter) and Amaya Macandog, also with nine points.

Princess Tufele led Santa Rosa with nine points.

Cardinal Newman 61, Windsor 28

The visiting first-place Cardinals (6-0, 14-3) easily defeated the fifth-place Jaguars (2-4, 8-8) in an NBL matchup.

Cardinal Newman, ranked 35th in California according to MaxPreps, had an easy go of it from the start against overmatched Windsor. The Cardinals led 35-15 at halftime.

“We were focused defensively. We put good pressure on the ball and were engaged. We were very disruptive on defense,” Cardinal Newman coach Monica Mertle said. “Offensively, we did a good job attacking the basket and moving the ball.”

Cardinal Newman was led by Aysia Dural (15 points), Anya Choice (14 points, five rebounds), Avery Cargill (12 points), and Aria Searcy (10 points, seven rebounds).

Windsor’s Gabby Giddings had nine points.

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