Stop and pop

Stop and pop – Phillip Helfrick shot a jumper in NBL basketball action for the three-time league champion Greyhounds. Healdsburg will focus on the NBL playoff tournament this week.

League title is Healdsburg’s third straight 

The Greyhounds left nothing to chance in their final stretch of North Bay League Redwood Division basketball action, soundly defeating El Molino and Elsie Allen to complete an unbeaten season.

The league title is the third straight for the Hounds in a tremendous three-year run.

“I’m so proud of this team,” Hounds coach Yasha Mokaram said. “They have shown physical and mental toughness all season. Finishing league 10-0 is just another example of their toughness.”

Healdsburg (10-0, 22-3) will now turn its attention to the post-season, which begins this week in the NBL playoff tournament. At press time the No. 1 seeded Hounds were preparing to take on No. 4 Ukiah on Feb. 12 (7 p.m.), with the winner facing the survivor of the Rancho Cotate-Maria Carrillo game in a tourney title clash on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Rancho Cotate in Rohnert Park 7:30 p.m.

Also looming large is an automatic playoff berth in the North Coast Section Division 4 tournament, which starts next week. The NCS seeding committee will meet this Sunday to fill out the divisional brackets. 

“I’ve learned that if we’re satisfied with the league title, we’ll be let down in NCS,” Mokaram noted. “So because of this I’m trying to move on quickly and focus now on the league tournament, as well as trying to keep momentum going into NCS.”

Hounds close it out        

The Greyhounds began the final week of the regular season needing just one win in their final two outings to secure the NBL title outright, and wasted no time in their Feb. 5 visit to El Molino, racing to a 47-17 lead at the half. There was no let-up after intermission as Healdsburg powered to an 82-34 rout. Pacing the attack were Dylan Hayman (23 points), Gavin Vogensen (10 points), Chase Sommer (9 points) and Phillip Helfrick (9 points).

The Hounds completed a perfect season on Friday against visiting Elsie Allen, jumping out to an insurmountable, 35-14 halftime advantage on their way to a 56-31 victory. Dewey Widick poured in 23 points while Hayman chipped in nine for the Greyhounds. 

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