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Sonora eyes 3rd straight section crown

Guy Dossi / Union Democrat Sonora’s Kiana Pisula sets Wednesday at practice.
 There was one name that was on the tip of the tongue of every Sonora volleyball player and coach Wednesday during practice at Bud Castle Gym — Emily. 

“That is where Emily will hit it,” could be heard on one end of the court. “This is what Emily likes to do,” said from the other side of the gym. “This is what we need to have happen to stop Emily,” Sonora head coach Kim Evans constantly reminded her players.  

The notorious Emily is Emily Baptista, Hilmar’s 6-foot-2 senior phenom who has already committed to continue her volleyball career next fall at the University of the Pacific. 


Jumpers get back in win column

Guy Dossi / Union Democrat Columbia College head coach Rob Hoyt patrols the sideline Thursday in the Claim Jumpers 71-56 win over William Jessup JV at Oak Pavilion
 After dropping two games in a row, the Columbia Claim Jumpers needed a win to put its season back on track. Behind a strong defensive effort and 17 points from Kashmiere Hughes, the Jumpers knocked off William Jessup JV 71-56 Thursday night at the Oak Pavilion. 

The win puts Columbia at an even 3-3 with a chance to go above .500 with Gavilan coming to town Saturday.


TCAM finish 7th in open water small team division

Cold water, wide open spaces and swimming around buoys inspired 17 Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters swimmers to participate in seven open water events throughout the season.

TCAM swimmers were awarded for their accomplishments on the recently published Pacific Masters Open Water individual and team awards.

The swimmers raced at distances ranging from one mile to 10K in lakes and in the Pacific Ocean.  The swim venues included Spring Lake, Lake Berryessa, Lake Del Valle, Santa Cruz, Donner Lake, Whiskeytown Lake and Keller Cove in the San Francisco Bay.


Jump start needed

Guy Dossi / Lonzel Lewis participates in a light workout Wednesday during a shoot around at the Oak Pavilion.
 The Columbia Claim Jumpers return to action tonight against William Jessup JV at Oak Pavilion. The Jumpers have dropped their last two games, with the latest a heartbreaking 89-84 overtime loss to San Joaquin Delta College Tuesday night. Columbia is averaging 56 points per game with a season-high 84 against Delta. Sophomore Michael Meserole is leading the Jumpers with 19.8 points per game. Lewayne Grant is averaging 14.8, while Kashmiere Hughes is averaging 14 and DeAndre Stallings is averaging 10. Stalling and Hughes are the Jumpers rebound hounds, averaging six and five rebounds per game respectively.  Columbia will host Gavilan on Saturday before having a week off between games. Tip-off for tonight and Saturday is set for 6 p.m. 

Local runners place at section championship

Tuolumne and Calaveras County were well represented at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and V cross country championships Saturday at Willow Hills cross country course in Folsom. Jackson McIlroy and Cassi Land, both from Sonora High, took first place in their respective division. 

Bret Harte’s Connor Landis finished only 1 second behind McIlroy with a final time of 16:31. His time qualified him to race at the State Meet Nov. 28 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Summerville’s Colby Dibble finished in seventh with a time of 16:56. He was 4 seconds shy of qualifying for the State Meet. 


Jumpers can’t hold late 20- point lead

The Columbia Claim Jumpers dropped its second game in a row Tuesday night and fell to 2-3 on the young season with an 89-84 overtime road loss to San Joaquin Delta College. 

Columbia had a 20-point lead with 10-minutes left to play, but couldn’t secure the win. With time winding down in regulation, the Jumpers could not keep the game from heading into overtime with the score tied 76-76. 

The Mustangs outscored Columbia 13-8 in overtime for the win.


Top seed Wildcats thump Indians

Sonora senior Kiana Pisula (9, right) sets for fellow senior Kelsie Evans Tuesday night during the Wildcats victory over the Ripon Indians in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships at Bud Castle Gym. Robert Winters / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 With pinpoint execution, very few unforced errors and Riley Patterson hammering spike after spike into the Bud Castle Gymnasium floor Tuesday night, the Sonora Wildcats volleyball team crushed the Ripon Indians and will play this weekend for its third consecutive section crown.

In front of their largest home crowd this season, with the Golden Regiment’s booming drums accompanying every Sonora point, the top seed Wildcats smashed the No. 5 Indians in three sets (25-9, 25-20, 25-15) and will play the No. 2 Hilmar Yellowjackets at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the final of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championships at Tokay High School in Lodi.

’Cat runners Land, McIlroy win section

Sonora Wildcat cross country runners Cassi Land and Jackson McIlroy sit with head coach Glenn Bass Tuesday afternoon before training at Dunlavy Field. Guy Dossi/ Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Cassi Land and Jackson McIlroy are two of the finest athletes at Sonora High School. However, their ability isn’t showcased on a court, field, or aquatic center. They don’t kick or throw a ball, nor do they perform under bright lights with spectators watching their every move. They just put one foot in front of the other, and they do it better than most.

Land, a sophomore, and Mcllroy, a junior, are representing Sonora cross country at the State Meet on Nov. 28 at Woodward Park in Fresno. The duo came in first place in their respective divisions last Saturday at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championships at Willow Hills cross country course in Folsom.

Sonora polo falls to Ripon in D3 final

Guy Dossi, Sonora head coach Matt Personius (right) talks with his team before the section championship match.
 ROSEVILLE—All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for the Sonora Wildcats boys’ water polo team, the end resulted in a loss in the final of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championships. The No. 6 Wildcats lost Saturday to the No. 1 Ripon Indians 15-3 at the City of Roseville Aquatics Complex. 

Following the loss, head coach Matt Personius spoke to his team and he had two main points, which he made loud and clear. The first was that asides from those in the team huddle, nobody expected Sonora to be in the section championship. So each player should be extremely proud with the season and what they accomplished as a team. The second was that he expects to be back next year. 


Jumpers dumped in home opener

Robert Winters / Union Democrat Columbia’s Lewayne Grant drives to the hoop Saturday night at the Oak Pavilion.
 With 11-seconds remaining in the game Saturday night, West Valley College called a timeout and Columbia head coach Rob Hoyt huddled together on the bench with his Claim Jumpers. Down 62-61, with one shot to win the game, Hoyt tried to draw up the perfect play to score that final basket to give Columbia the win.

Freshman guard Lewayne Grant took the ball up court and kept his dribble alive at the top of the key. With his left hand he drove into the lane intent on taking the rock to the hole. Before he could get a shot off, the ball was stripped away and Columbia didn’t get that final shot. 


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