If you see a bunch of fruit on the ground around Sonoma County this morning, it’s because the apple cart was tipped across the high school boys soccer landscape in the past couple of days.

Both the North Bay League and Sonoma County League champions were decided on the final night of play, which points to the competitive parity across both leagues. It was a fight through the final 80 minutes.

Montgomery High, the preseason favorite in the NBL, was crowned league champion after beating Ukiah on the road Friday night while Rancho Cotate upset previous No. 1 Windsor 2-1 in Rohnert Park. A win for the Jags would have secured the league title, but the loss dropped them to 11-2-1. The Vikings finished 12-2. And an aggressive and talented Rancho squad was never going to make it easy.

“The position that we were in? It adds to the pressure. You’ve got to get a ‘W’. A tie doesn’t help,” Windsor coach Andres Flores said. “It was very emotional. There is only so much you can say in that moment. But those moments are just fuel — fuel for the fire of playoffs.”

It was a similar emotional ride in the SCL Thursday night, when the Healdsburg Hounds dispatched the Sonoma Valley Dragons 1-0 to secure a tie with Elsie Allen as league champs.

Elsie could have won the title outright had it closed out stronger. Instead the Lobos dropped two of their last three contests, opening the door for either Sonoma Valley or Healdsburg to grab a piece of the championship.

It was the Hounds who made it happen, forcing the Lobos to share the title for the second time in as many years.

“We are coming together maybe at the right time,” Healdsburg coach Herbert Lemus said. “We are playing as good as we’ve ever played. We don’t have any excuses going into the postseason.”

The seeding for the North Coast Section tournament is scheduled to be released Sunday and we’ll be seeing a bunch of these teams again.

As league champ, Montgomery will get an automatic berth in Division 2 with Windsor, Rancho, Petaluma and Casa Grande expected to make the 16-team bracket.

In Division 3, Elsie Allen gets the automatic berth based on its head-to-head record against co-champ Healdsburg. Sonoma Valley will certainly be in the hunt, and Analy and Piner, which loaded their preseason schedules with games against bigger Division 2 opponents, could be in the mix.

Santa Rosa, with an official enrollment of 2,040 for NCS purposes, is the only Sonoma County team in Division 1. The Panthers, who finished fourth in the NBL, racked up a strong preseason record against Division 1 opponents.

“It’s hard to say but I expect a top eight, top six based on our resume against D1 schools,” Panthers coach Antonio Garcia said.

But perhaps at this point — in only the second winter season for the NBL and the first for the SCL — it’s not where teams are ranked and scheduled to play Wednesday, but simply the fact they don’t have to play a game for five or six days.

Sheer bliss.

Consider this: The Elsie Allen team that dropped two of their last three to cough up sole possession of first place in league? They played those final games on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. That’s a tough go for any team. And NBL teams were playing the final stretch with barely time to breathe in between games.

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