The Lady Lions and Tigers will begin a new season this week when they take the court in their respective North Bay League basketball playoff tournaments.
Both teams landed top three placements in the league standings, with El Molino representing the third seed in the NBL Redwood Division, while Analy will hold down the third seed in the NBL Oak Division tourney.
At press time the Lions (5-5, 14-9) were preparing to visit No. 2 Maria Carrillo on Feb. 11, with the winner slated to face the survivor of the Healdsburg-Rancho Cotate game in the title game at Rancho Cotate on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m.
The Tigers (5-5, 17-8) will visit No. 2 Montgomery on Feb. 11, with the winner advancing to the tourney title game against first-place Cardinal Newman on Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.
Both are a good bet to land a berth in the upcoming North Coast Section playoffs, which start next week.
Tigers’ strong finish
Analy is playing its best ball at just the right time this month, as evidenced by a
49-40 win over Santa Rosa in the league finale on Feb. 6. The Tigers gained separation in a tight game with a 33-22 combined run in the second and third quarters, holding the Panthers off in the final period in posting the nine-point win. Top scorers for Analy were Lucca Lowenberg (15 points, 5 rebounds, 8 steals), Samantha Davis (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals), Maya Salas (6 points, 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal), Maycee Hunter (7 points, 9 rebounds) and Sophia Silveria (6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal).
The Tigers got off to a slow start at Montgomery two nights earlier, spotting the Vikings a 25-19 halftime lead en route to a 46-31 loss. Pacing the offense were Hunter (10 points, 7 rebounds), Salas (5 points, 2 rebounds), Bailey Alberigi (4 points, 2 boards) and Silveria (5 points, 5 rebounds).
Lions fall in finales
The El Molino girls ended the NBL season on a down note, beginning with a 56-51 loss at Healdsburg on Feb. 4. The Lions were in a 31-20 halftime hole before staging a furious third-quarter rally to eventually take a one-point lead. But Healdsburg would pull it out with 10 free throws in the final period to escape with a 56-51 win.
Ellie Roan led all scorers with 17 points and 23 rebounds. Other top scorers were Claire Casey (9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists), Hailee Walker (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists), Skyler Westover (5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist) and Angelina Gonnella (5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal).
The Lions finished the NBL season two nights later, dropping a 63-52 decision at first-place Rancho Cotate.