LEADING Healdsburg's Amelia Wickerhsam (#1) leads Hailey Webb (22) down court in the second quarter of the Jan.. 15 game against Piner. They Greyhounds won their 9th striaght, 69-20.

It’s a good year for girls basketball, in the Healdsburg area and beyond. Just last week Stanford’s women’s coach Tara VanDerveer became the winningest coach in college basketball history, passing Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski with more than 1,202 wins in her career.

More locally, and perhaps less dramatically, the Healdsburg Lady Greyhounds are on a 10-game winning streak and hope to sweep the rest of their North Bay Redwood league opponents over the next two weeks, playing teams they have already defeated once on their march through the season.

Following last week’s home victory against Piner, the Greyhound girls met Rancho Cotate on a Saturday night at Smith Robinson, squeezing out a 67-30 victory.

“Our game plan was to push the tempo both offensively and defensively, but Rancho is solid and played us very well,” said coach Jim Lago. “Once we got in our rhythm we started rolling and broke the game wide open in the third quarter and kept our foot on the gas through the fourth.”

The early game was a tough first quarter, as Rancho held the usually high-scoring Healdsburg to just 10 points and countered with 8 of their own. The second quarter was a different story, as Healdsburg scored 19 points to Rancho’s 5, all of them by senior Janice  Williams who led her team with 12 points overall.

But Healdsburg senior Hailey Webb was on a roll, amassing 21 points during the night. Among Hailey’s scores was a 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter—her 77th career 3-pointer, setting a school record and in doing so, besting her mother Alicia Webb’s previous high of 76 3-pointers, set back in 1994.

Other top producers for the Lady Greyhounds were Allie Espinoza with 14 points, followed by Ruby Leffew with 13. It was another game where the hard-playing Healdsburg girls showed their dominance in the North Bay Redwood league.

That could change on Wednesday night of this week (results too late for press time) when Healdsburg meets, or will have met, Windsor on the Jaguar’s home court. It was Windsor that handed the Greyhounds their only league loss last year, and coach Lago and the student-athletes are hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

Their next home game is Friday, Jan. 26, in the season’s rematch with St. Vincent de Paul, who they convincingly defeated 57-13 on Jan. 11.

Rio Lindo Girls

Up the river, the Rio Lindo Adventist Lady Spartans are likewise on a roll, with an 11-3 season record and 5-0 in the Small School Bridge league.

“Our girls team keeps winning,” said the school’s athletic director, Kevin Hardesty. The team’s record is only marred by losses to Division 4 or 5 teams that usually make playoffs in their league, including Healdsburg on Nov. 16.

“Our big game left on the calendar is a reschedule with Mendocino for Monday, Feb. 5, here at Rio,” he continued. “That game will likely determine who gets the No. 2 seed in NCS playoffs; SF Waldorf will likely be the No. 1 seed.”

Leading the scoring for the Lady Spartans is senior Belen Hernandez, with over 14 points per game, followed by Kaia Miller, another senior, with just over 10. Their next game is Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 4pm against Summerfield Waldorf, at Rio Lindo Academy.

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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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