By KEVIN SAULS
Michelle Banks of the Sonora High School girls basketball team is looking for better things this season, both from herself and from the Wildcats.
Last season wasnt exactly bad, as Sonora went 17-11 and finished second in the Valley Oak League. But the bar is set high for the Wildcats and Banks wants to hit the heights.
I want to play with my head this year, said the junior power forward, who is in her second year with the varsity. Last year I got technicals (technical fouls) and got in foul trouble ... did some stupid stuff.
And the team?
We had some problems last year, but this year were
going to have more team ball more team unity, commitment, responsibility.
While team chemistry is a constant work in progress, the
results on the court have been good so far as Sonora
is 2-0. Banks scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a 62-50 victory over Downey of Modesto and had 18 points, 15 rebounds and three steals in a 47-27 defeat of Livingston to become The Union Democrats Athlete of the Week.
The season began inauspiciously for Banks as she was on the court for less than two minutes against Downey before picking up two fouls and spending the rest of the first half on the bench. Sonora carried on without her and rallied from a seven-point deficit to hold a 28-27 lead. When Banks returned in the second half, Sonora took off and outscored the Knights 34-23.
Banks experienced no foul trouble against Livingston and Sonora dominated the Wolves from start to finish.
Michelle did a great job in every aspect of the game, Sonora coach Gary Smith said.
Banks has made a quick transition from volleyball, in which she was an all-league setter on Sonoras first championship team in 10 years.
From the moment she stepped onto the court after volleyball, shes been fully committed to basketball and to us having a great year, Smith said.