Healdsburg’s girls basketball team is having their best year in years, and they’ve had some good ones. Last year they only lost a single game in the regular season, to Windsor, ending with an 11-1 league record. They were 7-3 the year before that, and 5-5 in 2019-2020.
But unless the unexpected happens, they will finish the 2023-24 season 12-0 when they play their final game on Feb. 3, against Piner High in Santa Rosa. They’ve defeated every league team at least once, and avenged the 2023 loss to Windsor on Jan. 24 when they beat the Jaguars for the second time this year. And as the season comes down to the wire, their opponents are doing everything they can to leave a mark on their spotless record.
The Jan. 24 game in Windsor could have been the opportunity for the second-place Jaguars to make a move, and they did everything they could to win. “Windsor came out with a vengeance, running on all cylinders, and jumped to a 12-point lead in the first and 8-point lead at halftime,” said coach Jim Lago.
Windsor held the usually sharp-shooting Healdsburg team to just 5 points in the first quarter and 12 in the second, but once the Greyhounds made adjustments at the half, the host team found out they just didn’t have the mettle to beat the better team.
Ruby Sellards and Ashley Behrens each shot two 3-pointers in the second half, and Healdsburg won going away by a final score of 49-38.
The team returned to Healdsburg on Jan. 26 to face a fired-up Elsie Allen, but the game left a bad taste in the craw of team and coach alike. The Lobos, wallowing in the lower third of the North Bay Redwood league standings, “came out hard and continued the extreme physicality throughout the game,” said Lago.
“It was a brutal and very physical game against a team that has improved a great deal over the years and appeared pretty set on shocking us in our own gym,” said the coach. The Jaguars were called for 14 fouls and, according to Lago, some fouls were not called because Healdsburg was so far ahead. “The fouls were blatant,” he said. Several Greyhound girls were slightly injured.
The final score was 78-30. Leading Healdsburg with 22 points and 8 assists was Hailey Webb; Ruby Leffew had 14 and Claire Berry and Allie Espinosa had 13 each.
Tuesday night this week Healdsburg traveled to Santa Rosa to score a 54-41 win, giving them a 10-0 league record and a lock on first place in the North Bay -Redwood league for the second year runnig.
Thursday, Feb. 1, finds them hosting a Senior Night against St. Vincent for the last home game of the year (barring post-season play). The only Healdsburg senior is Webb, which suggests that Healdsburg will continue to be a force to reckon with in next year’s girls basketball season.
The Greyhound boys have had a tough year, going without a win since Dec. 30, 2023, and are currently winless in the league. Their next two games include a Feb. 1 game against Elsie Allen on their court, and the final game this year, Senior Night on Saturday, Feb. 3, against Ukiah. Tipoff 7:30pm, at Smith Robinson Gym.