Sonora outscored Calaveras 10-2 in overtime Monday to survive and defeat the Redskins 51-43 at Bud Castle Gym.
Maggie Beck/Union Democrat. Calaveras’ Kelly Airola (5, left) dribbles upcourt with Sonora’s Brooke Canepa applying backcourt pressure Monday at Bud Castle Gym.
Sonora led throughout the contest until Redskin Sheridan Loverin sank a desperation 3-pointer off the backboard from well beyond the top of the key with 3 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
“As the girls were walking off the court, they had their heads hanging,” said Wildcat head coach Amy Santos. “It was definitely a blow. But we got the girls together and told them, ‘Hey, this is still our place. This is our game.’ And we came out with a lot of energy.”
The Wildcats victory against the Redskins is Sonora’s first after losing the last five years.
Sonora led 16-8 after the first period, 24-17 at halftime and 31-28 heading into the final eight minutes.
Sonora’s Bailey Henington led all scorers with 17 points, including three from beyond the arc and added six steals.
The Wildcats scored almost half their points on 3-point shots. They connected eight times.
Also for Sonora (7-3), Sandra Renda scored 15 points, including two treys, dished four assists and made three steals, Shea Stead netted 10 points, including two from downtown and also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, Leah Dambacher scored four points and Brooke Canepa hit a 3-pointer.
Taylor Martinez led the Redskins with 14 points.
Also for Calaveras (6-6), Kaley Garcia scored eight points, Loverin seven, Jennifer Scantlen five and Megan Walters, Tessa Browner and Kelly Airola each scored three points.
“Calaveras is always good,” Santos said. “Coach (Mike) Lewis does a great job. It was disappointing we went to overtime, but the way we played in overtime was fantastic.
“It was a great win and we needed it. We needed a good game after Friday (69-49 loss at Riverbank). I’m very happy to close out preseason with a win and head to league.”
Sonora will open Valley Oak League play on Jan. 8 against Weston Ranch at home at 7:15 p.m.
Calaveras opens its Mother Lode League slate on Friday against Linden in San Andreas.