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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.”

Cats place 6th at 38th Hatler Memorial

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora’s Nate Gookin (above, left) has his way with Lodi’s Justin Loveall on Saturday at the 38th annual Robert Hatler Memorial Tournament at Bud Castle Gym.
The Sonora Wildcats wrestling team placed sixth at its own 38th annual Robert Hatler Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Bud Castle Gym.

Summerville finished eighth and Bret Harte was 11th. Calaveras came in 13th. Elk Grove topped the field, placing first followed by Buhach Colony at second and Lodi at third.

Bear sophomore Zach Marquez recorded a 3-0 record to capture the 138-pound title. Wildcat Nate Gookin coasted to a 2-0 mark and won the 182 division.

Paris scores with seconds left to lift Frogs


For The Union Democrat

Bret Harte Bullfrog senior Bennett Paris stunned the Calaveras Redskins, and their fans, on Friday night inside a packed house at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas.

Paris hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just seconds remaining to hand the Redskins their first Mother Lode League loss, 41-39.

“The play was set up for us to get a backdoor screen, but they switched defenses on us,” Paris said. “Once I got the ball, I knew that I had to shoot it. I knew that I was going to make it. I knew that it was now or never. I had full confidence in myself.”  


Bullfrog girls prevail over Skins in OT


For The Union Democrat

Four quarters of basketball wouldn’t be enough time to crown a winner Friday night, as the Bret Harte Bullfrogs and Calaveras Redskins girls’ basketball team squared off in the Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas. 

Bret Harte needed overtime to put away its cross-county rival in a 48-44 victory.

Neither team could gain an advantage over the other in the first quarter. The Skins took a 7-4 lead midway through the first quarter on a Brookelyn Vance-Larkin free-throw, but Bret Harte ended the quarter on a Sydney Davis bucket off of a crisp pass from Bailey VanZant. The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter.

“Close games like tonight are really hard to play in because nobody is able to get a run going,” Davis said. “So you can never really take a break out there. You always feel that if you don’t score, they will and there are no second chances against a team like Calaveras.” 


Sells to succeed Francis as AD

Sonora High math teacher and former softball coach Karen Sells will take over as the Wildcats athletic director in June when Rick Francis, longtime caretaker of the position, retires.

Sells was chosen by the Sonora High Board of Trustees in closed session at Tuesday’s meeting. 

“I’m extremely excited,” Sells said. “It will be a different challenge from teaching. I love to teach, but athletics have always been where my heart is. And it’s the best of both worlds, I will still get to teach part time.”

Linden pulls away from S’ville

Cassidy Weathers hit her first four shots to help the Summerville girls’ basketball team gain an early one-point lead, but Linden was too strong down the stretch and handed the Bears a 57-38 Mother Lode League loss on Thursday in Tuolumne.

Weathers finished with a team-high 10 points and also recorded four rebounds and two steals. Bailey Richter added nine points and Sarah Boyer tossed in eight. Haven Trambley notched seven and Mariah Graham had four.

“We’re not playing well right now,” Summerville head coach Dave Woods said. “We play well in spurts, but we’re not consistent. We don’t play well over the long haul.”


Columbia keeps win streak alive, tops Porterville 71-59

For the first time this season, the Columbia College men’s basketball team did not have a single supporter in the stands.

And although that fan support fell short, it had no effect on the Claim Jumpers.

Marquell Hubbard, Tony Williams, Michael Meserole and Ian Merzwinski all scored in double-figures to help Columbia knock off the Porterville College Pirates 71-59 on Wednesday in a Central Valley Conference road game.

“It’s kind of the mentality we have,” Claim Jumpers head coach Rob Hoyt said. “It’s us against everybody. We have each other’s back. We’re a family. When you make these far trips, you have to rely on each other.”

Preps roundup: Sonora girls’ hoops top Linden, improves to 6-0

Eight different players scored for the Sonora as the Wildcats girls’ basketball team cruised to a 69-54 win versus Linden on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym.

Senior star Bailey Henington led the way with 24 points. Sandra Renda scored 17 points and Michelle Ries added 12. Elyse Quenneville rattled in seven and Leah Dambacher and Brooke Canepa each had four. Hannah Garrett had two and Karina Herrera finished with one.

The Wildcats led 36-22 at halftime, and at one point, stretched their lead to as many as 20.

Henington also had seven steals and five assists. Renda recorded five boards and six steals. Quenneville hauled in a team-best eight rebounds.

The Wildcats (13-5, 6-0 Mother Lode League) wrapped up the first round of conference play and will return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Linden.

Tioga girls’ hoopsters beat Don Pedro 35-18

Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Don Pedro’s Valeria Sandoval (21, above center) moves the ball down the court as Tioga Timberwolves Heidi Miller (10) and Kailey McCoy defend on Wednesday in Groveland.
Tioga’s Kailey McCoy made a steal and quickly went to the basket for a layup. 13 seconds later the sophomore point guard had the ball in her hands again and converted another drive to the basket. 30 ticks after that, McCoy grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback.

In matter of 43 seconds on Wednesday night, McCoy broke open a close contest and helped the Timberwolves pull away for a 35-18 Mountain Valley League victory over the short-handed Don Pedro Panthers in Groveland.

“Kailey is probably the most savvy girl out there,” said Tioga head coach Tari Skelley. “We’re just working on her goofy side.”

Here come the Bears: Summerville beats Bret Harte for 3rd straight win

Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat Summerville’s Chad Sweitzer (12, above) hauls down a rebound while under pressure from Bret Harte’s Colin Preston on Tuesday in the Bears victory over Bret Harte in Tuolumne.
The ball movement for the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team was textbook on Tuesday against Bret Harte.

Every time a Summerville player had the ball, more often times than not, he made the correct read and pass. The Bears dished 18 assists and seven different players scored en route to a 58-49 Mother Lode League win over Bret Harte in Tuolumne.

Summerville senior Bryce Farrell scored 15 points, converting 70 percent of his shots on 7 of 10 attempts. The 6-foot-3 senior forward also hauled in seven rebounds and distributed two assists. Ethan McLaurin added 16 points and a team-best six steals.

“We had excellent ball movement today,” Farrell said after the Bears’ third straight win. “We made great and sound passes. They were safe, but they were also efficient and effective. That was part of the reason why we won tonight. I love making assists though. As a quarterback, I love passing the ball. It makes me feel good because other guys are scoring the points and you feel good about making great passes. Great passes are tougher to make than great shots.”

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