LINEUP Healdsburg Greyhounds basketball team in action at the season's first game on Nov. 14. Ballhandler is James Parmeter, at right, with Sho Katsuki (#20, partially hidden) and Ethan Overdorf (#10) at left.

After winning their first six games this season, Healdsburg’s girls basketball team was finally defeated last week, falling 32-18 to San Marin in the first round of the Piner tournament.

“It was a battle between two extraordinary defensive teams of which neither were able to produce points to start the game,” said coach Jim Lago following the Nov. 30 match. “Healdsburg never got into a shooting rhythm in the first half and were just not themselves in the second.”

No team member scored more than Ashely Behrens’ 7 points, despite what coach Jim Lago called Hannah Sellards’ “absolutely impressive performance in an otherwise disappointing game.”

SHOOTING Claire Berry (#25) makes a shot during the Rio Lindo game as Amelia Wickerhsam (#1), Ashley Behrens (#14) and Hannah Sellards (#3) watch it drop. The Healdsburg girls team is off to another winning season. (Christian Kallen)

The next night was different. Very different. Healdsburg rebounded to hold Napa to zero points from the court and only 3 points overall from free throws.

“After an extremely disappointing loss on Thursday vs. San Marin, where we were simply unable to put the ball into the basket, we came out on all cylinders vs. Napa on Friday,” said Lago. “From the tip off our stifling defense was just too much for them, and with quality minutes from every player there was never any doubt as to who would prevail.”

The 47-3 drubbing of Napa was a team effort, led by senior Hailey Webb’s 13 points (and 10 steals!) and sophomore Meher Dhiman’s 10 points.

That set the stage for Saturday’s meeting with Santa Rosa High for the consolation championship in the tournament (San Marin was the overall winner). “Santa Rosa is an extraordinary team who plays just like we do,” said Lago. “We knew they would be a challenge so we went in focused on playing hard from the tip off.”

The mental preparation paid off, and Healdsburg won every quarter. They led 18-11 at the half and walked away with a 35-15 victory. Scoring was again guided by Webb’s 12 points (and another 10 steals), followed by Ruby Leffew’s 6 points and several girls with 4 each.

This weekend the Healdsburg girls kicked off the local Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball tournament (REIBT) with a game against Ukiah on Wednesday night (results too late for press time). Last year the Lady Hounds went 2-1 in the tournament, losing to Arcata in the second round.

Participating teams this year in the girls REIBT tourney are Arcata, Upper Lake, Ukiah, Fortuna, Middletown, Justin-Siena and McKinleyville, as well as the Healdsburg hosts.

Boys Basketball

The boys varsity team is having a tougher go of it this year, but they finally broke through to their  second win of the year on Dec. 2, with a welcome 50-46 victory over Roseland University Prep (RUP) in St. Helena’s Sutter Home Classic Tournament. Healdsburg’s Thatcher Little earned a spot on the all-tourney roster.

The win over RUP ended a four-game losing streak dating back to the Nov. 16 cross-town match against Rio Lindo Adventist.

Tuesday night this week they faced neighboring Cloverdale High, which improved their record to 3-3 with a 54-49 win over the 2-6 Greyhounds.

Next they will compete in this weekend’s REIBT. Other boys teams in the annual invitational tournament include Kelseyville, Tamalpais, Ukiah, Archie Williams, San Domenico, Roseland College Prep and South Fork.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2012, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.

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