Bailey Henington’s big day on the basketball court was too much for Bret Harte.
Behind Henington’s jaw-dropping 37 points, the Wildcats outlasted the Bullfrogs 56-45 to take third place on Saturday at the 40th Annual Sonora Girls’ Basketball Tournament.
Despite joining the team less than a week ago because Henington was a member of the Wildcats Division IV CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championship volleyball squad, who also made a run at the State title, the standout junior had one of the best performances in Sonora head coach Amy Santos’ career.
“She was on fire,” Santos said. “She played a great game. It was a really good game for her. I mean 37 points — I don’t think I have had a player score that many before.”
Henington sank five, 3-pointers on eight attempts, and was a spectacular 10 of 11 from two-point range. She also made eight steals.
“They played pretty good defense on her,” Santos said. “She’s just that good of an offensive player. She’s a game changer, that’s for sure.”
Sonora led just 28-23 at the break, but Bret Harte erased that deficit in the third quarter, leading 37-34 to enter the final eight minutes.
Then the Wildcats went on a run, outscoring the Bullfrogs 22-8 to seal their third-place finish.
Without its volleyball players — Henington, Leah Dambacher and Maria Chacon — Sonora lost to Bret Harte 63-46 during the foundation game on Dec. 2.
But with those three back in the mix, the Wildcats were a stronger unit, and it showed.
“It’s very good to have all of them back,” Santos said. “Bailey’s a special player and she loves basketball. She puts the time in. It’s good to have all of them back. It’s good to have their experience. They’re all returning players.”
Michelle Ries drained six points and Dambacher had five. Shea Stead recorded four and Hannah Garrett and Elyse Quenneville both pitched in two.
Ries grabbed a Wildcat-best 12 rebounds and Dambacher had eight to lead Sonora.
For the Bullfrogs, senior guard Kelsey Switzer dropped 22 points and Jessie Evans had 14. Senior post player Sami Seider led the team with nine rebounds.
On Friday in the semifinals, Sonora fell 71-45 against Alameda.
Alameda went on to lose 57-52 to Del Oro in the Championship game. It was Del Oro’s ninth straight tournament title.