An early haymaker wasn't quite a knockout blow and the Sonora High School girls' basketball team let Bret Harte come off the mat for a 41-38 victory Tuesday night at Bud Castle Gym.
The Wildcats (1-3) opened the game with an 11-0 run in a little over three minutes. Senior power forward Jessica Peterson scored four quick points, senior forward Rachel Wolfe made a 3-pointer, Peterson tallied again and junior guard Haley Hohengarten capped the surge with 4:43 left in the first quarter.
Sonora led 13-3 after one quarter, but spent the rest of the night struggling against the traditionally relentless press used by Bret Harte (1-0). The Wildcats' margin was down to 20-13 by halftime, and they fell behind 27-26 late in the third quarter, never to regain the lead.
"They put pressure on us, but we just threw the ball away a lot," Sonora coach Charmon Logan said. "And this is the second straight game we've been taken off the dribble."
The Wildcats had similar problems Monday in a 55-44 loss to Beyer in Modesto.
Sonora trailed by as many as six points in the fourth quarter, but made a final surge behind Peterson (24 points, 18 rebounds). She had a final chance to tie it, but her long 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
"The last two minutes was the only time we showed any real intensity," Logan said. "The people on the floor at the end of the game gave us a chance."
Junior forward Megan Webbon hit a putback for Sonora to make it 40-38 with 18 seconds left, then Bret Harte freshman guard Marianne Madsen made one of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to set the final score.
"It was real ugly, but I was happy we were able to come back," Bret Harte coach Mike Lewis said.
Senior forward Tawnie Lee led the Bullfrogs with 15 points, including back-to-back outside shots that gave them their first lead, the aforementioned 27-26, with 2:11 left in the third quarter.