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The No. 1 Petaluma girls basketball team is headed to the Sonoma County League tournament championship after defeating visiting No. 4 Analy 55-43 on Tuesday night on the strength of a big first half.

The Trojans (22-5) will play at Santa Rosa Junior College on Friday at 6 p.m. against No. 3 Sonoma Valley, which upset No. 2 Healdsburg in Tuesday’s other SCL semifinal.

“I expect a grind-it-out defensive battle with Sonoma in the championship,” Petaluma coach Jon Ratshin said.

Petaluma defeated Sonoma 40-30 and 25-18 in their two regular-season SCL meetings.

Against Analy (13-14), Petaluma relied on a 23-8 first-quarter advantage to set the tone early. The Trojans led 32-17 at the half.

“It was a quick start for us. Getting that early lead put us in a situation with much less pressure,” Ratshin said. “We had a comfort level playing Analy for the third time and knowing how to attack them. We are confident against Analy for whatever reason.”

Petaluma was led by Sheriene Arikat (19 points, 6 rebounds) and Jaden Krist (10 points, 14 rebounds).

Analy was guided by Julie Ambrose with 15 points.

Sonoma Valley 30, Healdsburg 27

The Dragons (13-12) out-rebounded the taller Greyhounds (18-9) and outscored Healdsburg 10-6 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory and move on to the title game.

“We rely on our defense and rebounding to go get it done,” Sonoma Valley coach Jan Thorpe said.

Sonoma lost in the SCL tournament championship last year versus Analy and is striving for a different outcome this year.

“Against Petaluma, it is going to be who can make shots, since both teams play good defense,” Thorpe said.

Healdsburg struggled offensively with 15 turnovers and was 11-of-20 shooting from the free-throw line.

“We didn’t play very well. We had way too many unforced turnovers,” Healdsburg coach Steve Zichichi said. “Sonoma getting offensive rebounds over our taller team was the difference. Sonoma had more hustle and wanted it more than we did. They deserved the win — they were the better team tonight.”

Sonoma was led by Sydney Von Gober with 8 points. Healdsburg was led by Natasha Marsden with 9 points.

Newman 90, Rancho Cotate 31

The No. 1 Cardinals (23-4) had no trouble with the visiting No. 4 Cougars (13-14) in a North Bay League semifinal game.

“We jumped on them early,” Cardinal Newman coach Monica Mertle said. “The girls had really good energy at the start and we played great in transition.”

Cardinal Newman will play No. 2 Montgomery in the NBL tournament final at 6 p.m. on Saturday at SRJC. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings by six and 46 points, respectively, in their two regular-season meetings.

The Cardinals practiced and played at SRJC from early November through mid-December after the Tubbs fire rendered their home gym temporarily unusable.

“We always look forward to playing at SRJC; it’s always an exciting event,” Mertle said. “This year SRJC was our home for six weeks when we had no home.”

The Cardinals were led by Maiya Flores (17 points), Arie Searcy (17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals), Tal Webb (14 points, 5 assists) and Avery Cargill (10 assists).

Montgomery 48, Ukiah 26

The host Vikings (22-5) won their semifinal game with solid defense and effective rebounding. Their next prize is to play Newman in the NBL tournament title game, no small chore.

“Cardinal Newman is so good, that is pretty obvious. Their kids know their roles. They are battle-tested, so nothing scares them,” Montgomery coach Darryl LaBlue said. “But if we can defend like we did tonight, we have a chance no matter who we play.”

Montgomery’s defense put the clamps on Ukiah (17-10), especially in the first half when the Wildcats were held to nine points.

“We made it hard for Ukiah to score. We switched on a lot of their screens,” LaBlue said. “We haven’t played good defense like that in a while.”

Ukiah coach Duane Nelson agreed and said his team struggled with rebounds, only pulling down 10 the entire game.

“Montgomery dominated the rebounding on both sides of the ball. They got multiple shots on offense and we were one-and-done,” Nelson said. “Montgomery is athletic and played well. They shut us down offensively.”

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