The second girls soccer game of the 2021-22 season between crosstown rivals Napa High and Vintage, played Feb. 4 at Memorial Stadium, will not go down as the fifth tie in seven Big Games after all.
“After a thorough investigation, we have decided to forfeit the 2/4 Big Game Girls Soccer game that ended in a 2-2 draw,” Vintage Athletic Director Cam Neal wrote in an email to the Napa Valley Register this past Friday morning.
“We violated a league rule regarding player eligibility and we have to own our mistake. While the mistake was unintentional, at Vintage we believe competitions should be determined between the lines and within the scope of the rules. Therefore, we cannot, in good conscience, deny that for our crosstown rivals. We apologize to the Napa Grizzly coaches and players and wish them well as the season wraps up.”
Napa followed Big Game with a 4-0 loss to visiting Petaluma in last Wednesday’s finale, finishing 7-11 overall and sixth in the Vine Valley Athletic League with a 5-7 record. Vintage didn’t play again until this past Friday, when it won 4-0 at American Canyon to finish 8-8-5 overall and in a fourth-place tie with Sonoma Valley at 4-5-3 in VVAL play.
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“We would like to acknowledge that we really appreciate the response that Vintage had to the situation and, of course, accept the apology,” Napa High Athletic Director Darci Ward wrote in email after this past Friday’s decision. “We had some great games this year and look forward to that next season as well.”
Varsity Boys Basketball
St. Helena wins league games
The Saints routed Lower Lake in their final regular-season home game Thursday, outscoring the Trojans 50-24 in the second half.
“Our defense was really lax in the first half, and (Lower Lake) made some incredible shots,” St. Helena head coach Jim Gamble said of the opening 16 minutes. “In the second half, we just picked up our defense and that led to some runouts and led to some transition points and our shots were just falling. We scored 26 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the fourth quarter.”
Making the victory even more satisfying was the fact it was Senior Night for Henry Dixon, Ethan Drumm, Charlie Carpy, Greyson ittig, Josh Johnson, Harrison Ronayne and Cal Lehman. Each senior was honored along with their family during a pre-game ceremony.
Gamble was reflective when speaking about his seniors.
“I’ve been watching this senior class play Little League baseball, and to high school with JV basketball,” he said. “All seven of those guys just have tremendous passion and a love for playing basketball.”
Dixon, whom Gamble said played the best game of his career, paced the Saints with 13 points. Ronayne, who the coach said is the team’s best defensive player, and Drumm joined Dixon in double figures with 11 points each. Drumm, the team captain, accounted for three of the Saints’ 12 3- pointers. Ittig scored all 9 of his points from behind the 3-point line. Starting point guard Micah Marquez also had 9 points. Carpy, cited as a team leader and “glue guy” with Drumm, contributed 8 points.
Johnson and junior Will Meyer, whom Gamble noted had a rough shooting night, recorded 6 points each. Lehman and junior Charlie Knight added 5 points apiece.
Jett Gonzalez led Lower Lake with a game-high 18 points.
The Saints went on to win 58-50 at Kelseyville on Friday night to finish 8-5 in the North Central League I.
St. Helena played another up-and-down first half and trailed 32-27 at halftime — despite Meyer scoring 6 of his 18 points, Drumm all of his 7 and Ronayne all of his 5.
After making adjustments, the Saints got 12 of Knight’s 14 points in the third quarter and took a 45-41 lead into the fourth. Knight also had 12 rebounds for a double-double.
In the final quarter, behind 6 points from Meyer and 4 for 4 free-throw shooting from Marquez, the Saints sealed the victory. Marquez finished with 9 points, Johnson 4 and Carpy 2. Gamble said Jorge Gonzalez, Wynton Meyer and Ittig also played well.
“It was a great win,” Gamble said. “Kelseyville is always a tough place to win on the road. I’m super proud of the kids with their effort and resiliency. It’s been a roller-coaster of a year, with many absences due to illness and injury. Once we finally got the entire roster together for the first time this year two weeks ago, we went 7-2 in our last nine games.”
St. Helena (11-10 overall) was seeded 12th in the North Coast Section Division 5 playoffs and will open at No. 5 seed International (19-7) in San Francisco at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
G.S. Whitt contributed to this report.
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