Emerging talent

Emerging talent – Itzel Ortiz is among the top freshmen in the North Bay League basketball Redwood Division this season.

High school girls basketball

The Healdsburg Lady Greyhounds are quickly learning how well balanced the North Bay League Redwood Division is in the early stages of the 2019-20 basketball campaign, with recent road losses to Rancho Cotate and El Molino a shining example.

Healdsburg entered the league campaign at 14-3 this month, but have posted a 1-3 NBL record in the early going.

“Our league is much tougher this year,” agreed HHS coach Steve Zichichi. “The girls need to get mentally tougher, they’re letting too many little things bother them.”

Healdsburg will start a two-game home-stand on Jan. 21 (after press time) against visiting Elsie Allen, followed by a Thursday, Jan. 23 tilt with Maria Carrillo. Game times for the JV and varsity are 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Hounds drop a pair 

Healdsburg ventured south to take on defending NBL champion Rancho Cotate on Jan. 15, playing an outstanding first half to grab a 23-19 lead. Rancho’s full-court press began to take its toll after intermission, with the Cougars methodically taking control of the game on their way to a 60-43 win.

Itzel Ortiz led the Hounds’ offense with 13 points, while other top scorers were Sophia Pickering (9 points), Kim Rodgers (8 points), Hannah Webb (6 points), Maddie Wagner (5 points) and Aleah Molina (2 points).

The Lady Hounds were in a dogfight two nights later at El Molino, with the teams playing on even terms as Healdsburg clung to a 15-14 edge after one. El Molino swamped the Hounds in a disastrous second quarter, closing it out on a 27-10 run for a 41-25 lead. Healdsburg rode the hot hands of Ortiz (7 points) and Webb (6 points) to cut the deficit to seven by the end of three, but the comeback fell just short as the Lions hung on for a 66-62 victory.

  

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