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S’ville girls battle, fall to host Linden

Bailey Richter scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds but the Summerville Bears girls hoopsters suffered a 42-35 defeat Tuesday night to their hosts, the Linden Lions.

Cassidy Weathers scored 13 points and hauled in seven rebounds, Haven Trambley grabbed 10 points and tossed in a bucket and Richter added two steals and two blocks.

The Bears, who played shorthanded due to illness, trailed 11-4 after the first quarter but trimmed the Lions lead to 19-14 at halftime.

“I’m real proud of the girls tonight,” said Bears head coach Dave Woods. “We were short handed and made a good game out of it. Linden made their free throws and that was the difference in the game.”

Preps roundup: Bears run through Amador; host Linden tonight

The Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team snapped its back-to-back losses with a 51-30 win over Amador on Friday in Tuolumne.

Bryce Farrell and Eli McLaurin each scored 11 points for the Bears. Cameron Saunders recorded six and Ben Richardson added five. Ethan McLaurin and Darren Warnock both had four. Cole Elkins and Cole Brewster also had three each. Braden Anderson and Danny Robles both finished with two.

Summerville led 19-3 after the first quarter and coasted to another Mother Lode League victory.

“We just got out to a fast start,” said Summerville head coach Ben Watson. “We played pretty good defense and combined with us making a couple of shots early, we got out to a big lead early. We just kind of kept the lead the rest of the game. We came out defensively pretty strong and we got some transition hoops.”

Cats beat Skins in battle for 1st

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora’s Charlie Dunn (32) drives to the basket against Calaveras on Friday in the Wildcats win at Mike Flock Gym.

For The Union Democrat

As the Sonora High School boys’ basketball team walked off the court inside the Mike Flock Gym Friday night in San Andreas, the Wildcats officially took back first place in the Mother Lode League.  

With their 60-45 victory over the Calaveras Redskins, who move into second place, the Cats not only avenged a loss they suffered earlier in the year to the Skins at Bud Castle Gym, but they also over a two-game deficit.

“Being able to pick up the two games that we were behind in the standings is huge because it shows that we are putting in the hard work and are continuing to get better,” Sonora senior Kahale Warring said. “We are really becoming a family right now, and this is the best chemistry we have had all season. All that we have wanted all season is to be in first place. ... We know that if we continue to take care of business and play hard the rest of the season, hopefully we will be able to stay on top.”


Columbia can’t find offense in loss to COS

Columbia’s Marquell Hubbard passes on Saturday during the Claim Jumpers loss to College of Sequioas at Oak Pavilion. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
When the Columbia College men’s basketball team is executing at a high level, the Claim Jumpers are tough to beat.

But against College of the Sequoias on Saturday at Oak Pavilion, Columbia’s execution wasn’t on par to head coach Rob Hoyt’s liking.

The Claim Jumpers shot just 32 percent from the field (16 of 49) and were defeated by the Giants 58-47 in front of their largest crowd of the season.

Tony Williams scored a team-high 12 points and was the only Columbia player in double-figures. Rafe King and Michael Meserole both tossed in nine and Marquell Hubbard added seven. Rosendo AmayaWood finished with two. The 47 points registered is the fewest the team has scored all year.

“Everybody was kind of cold,” Hoyt said. “We rely on certain guys from certain areas of the floor and they’re trying and they’re doing their best, but we were just unable to connect.”

Strong 2nd half propels Cats over Skins

Sonora’s Michelle Ries goes up for two of her 18 points on Thursday in the Wildcats’ win over the Calaveras Redskins at Bud Castle Gym. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
Sandra Renda and Michelle Ries put on a show for the Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team.

Without leading-scorer Bailey Henington, who missed Thursday’s Mother Lode League game because of a prior commitment, Renda and Ries answered the call.

Renda scored a game-high 23 points while hitting five triples and Ries added 18 points, all in the paint, to help Sonora pull away in the second half over Calaveras in a 57-42 win at Bud Castle Gym.

“We really ran our offenses through and we kept swinging the ball,” Ries said. “We weren’t forcing shots like we sometimes do. When we didn’t have looks on the inside, we kicked it back out, and when the outside wasn’t open, we swung it back in.”

Preps roundup: Mat Cats lose once in victory over ROP

The Sonora Wildcats wrestling team almost made a clean sweep of Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage on Wednesday.

The Wildcats lost just one match and earned a 78-6 victory.

“Their wrestlers were very physical and athletic, but our wrestlers were able to wear them down with constant pressure and take advantage of their inexperience,” said Wildcat head coach Jon Abernathy. “We lost just one match and that was a wrestler who had just returned from an injury and is not in wrestling shape.”

Merzwinski followed an unlikely path to Columbia College

After graduating from Mariposa High School in 2012, Ian Merzwinski never thought playing college basketball was a possibility.

Merzwinski enrolled at Cabrillo College in Aptos that following fall and pursued to continue his athletic career through baseball, but that plan fell through.

“I wanted to do baseball, but that just didn’t work out,” Merzwinski said. “So, I took the spring semester off and just lifted.”

Byrnes steps down as Bret Harte head football coach

The Bret Harte Bullfrogs football program will be under new leadership for the second time in three years.

Jon Byrnes, who took over as the varsity head football coach in 2013, stepped down before winter break and his resignation was accepted at this month’s Bret Harte Union School board meeting. Byrnes will still remain on staff as a physical education teacher.

“It’s tough to lose Jon,” Bullfrogs athletic director Heath Lane said. “We thought he did a good job of trying to turn our program around. It’s not going to be an easy task (for the next person). We need to get more people involved, including at the youth levels and get our numbers up. It’s going to be a challenge.”

 For the full story, see Thursday's sports section of the Union Democrat. 

Wildcats pull away from Lions in 4th

Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Sonora’s Adriana Carrera (23, above) gets a hand on the ball while teammate Brooke Canepa (behind) helps with the double team on Tuesday against Linden at Bud Castle Gym.
The Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team went through the first round of the Mother Lode League gauntlet unscathed, but that didn’t stop head coach Amy Santos from doing her due diligence for the squad’s next match.

Santos, present for the Linden-Summerville showdown during Sonora’s bye last Thursday in Tuolumne, was in the stands scouting the Wildcats’ next opponent: Linden.

And that time Santos invested paid off on Tuesday as Sonora defeated the Linden Lions 69-47 at Bud Castle Gym.

“I’ve always been about that (scouting),” Santos said. “That’s one of the hard things about going into a new league is I don’t have the game film and the tendencies of other coaches, so you have to kind of pick up things when you can here and there. I also had a couple of my players come up and watch that game too. We had a free night, so they came up to watch and that paid off. We executed well tonight.”

Preps roundup: Dunn’s 3 key to Cats OT win

Sonora’s Charlie Dunn hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime on Tuesday and the Wildcats went on to beat their hosts, the Linden Lions, 64-63.

Carter Denton saved a ball from going out of bounds and found Dunn in the lane.

With just seconds left, Dunn dribbled to the corner where he quickly turned and let fly his game-tying shot and slienced the once roaring home crowd.

“It was a very exciting win for us,” said Wildcat head coach Dan Dona. “Charlie just kind of willed us to the win. He hit that big 3 and he played great defense.”

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