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Cat hoopsters finish in third at Stagg tournament

    The Sonora Wildcats outscored Edison 23-11 in the fourth quarter on Saturday to pull out a 55-48 victory and earn third place in the Stagg Tournament.
    Sonora senior Jack Gardella, who scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the final quarter, sank a 3-pointer with 1:09 left on the clock to give the Wildcats a one-point lead.
      “Jack had a huge game,” said Wildcat head coach Rick Francis. “He hit that big 3 to give us the lead and then we limited them to only one shot. We hit our free throws down the stretch and hung on.”
    Gardella hit five treys in the final game and earned All-Tournament honors.
    The Wildcats trailed 18-15 after the first period, went into halftime down 26-24 and after three quarters, Edison led 37-32.
    “One reason we go to this tournament every year is that we play against quick, athletic teams,” said Francis. “We saw a lot of press and a lot of defensive pressure this weekend and we handled it pretty well.”
    Also for Sonora, Mark Relei scored 13 points, Nick Mays four and Ben Bates, Curtis Kellogg and Josh Dudley had three apiece.
    On Friday night, the Wildcats fell just short of making a chamionship-game appearance, losing to Bear Creek 53-48.
    “We missed a lot of shots, a lot of shots we should make,” said Francis. “But again we were down a little and we just kept coming back. They pressed us the entire game. We’re not very quick, but we’ve got a big team and our big guys just need to finish.”
    Dudley, a senior, scored a career-high and team-high 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
    Also for Sonora (3-1), Tayler Thompson netted 14 points, Relei had five, Austin Poe three and Bates and Mays had two each.
    The Wildcats next will host Pitman on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym at 7 p.m.

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