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Playoff push: Summerville defeats Bret Harte to take sole possession of 3rd place

Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Summerville’s Danny Robles (above, left) looks to pass while being defended by Bret Harte’s Michael Ziehlke on Tuesday in Angels Camp.
With a 64-50 win over Bret Harte on Tuesday in Angels Camp, the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team grabbed sole possession of third place in the Mother Lode League and kept its postseason hopes alive.

Summerville led by three, 28-25, at halftime before pulling away in the second half. The Bears outscored the Bullfrogs 36-25 in the third and fourth quarters and sealed their third straight victory.

Bear point guard Braden Anderson netted a team-high 17 points and Eli McLaurin chipped in 16. Anderson also made four steals and dished an assist. McLaurin hauled nine rebounds with six of those coming on the offense board.

“We came in knowing it was a must-win, so with that incentive, we just tried to play extra hard,” Anderson said. “It feels good, the season’s not over, but we’re on the right track.”

Claim Jumpers rally past Reedley

The Columbia College men’s basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak Saturday with a 64-52 road win over Reedley.

Columbia trailed 22-10 at the 10-minute mark before settling into its comfort zone. The Claim Jumpers rallied and closed the gap to two, 31-29, at halftime and outscored Reedley 35-21 in the second period to complete a two-match sweep over the Tigers.

“It’s always good to win,” Columbia coach Rob Hoyt said. “It definitely changes the mood of our meetings and practices. We all kind of know what’s at stake, but the morale is up.”

Kurgan is top shooter at MLGC high power match

Approximately 50 people endured some heavy rain Saturday for the February High Power Match at Mother Lode Gun Club in Jamestown.

Murphy’s Chad Kurgan came out on top in the 27-competitor field as Match winner shooting a 490-20X out of a possible 500. Forrest Greenwood, of Ceres, won first place in the Master/High Master class, as well as High Junior, shooting a score of 481-13X. 

Preps roundup: Redskin boys keep pace, drub Argonaut

The Calaveras Redskins boys basketball team drubbed the Argonaut Mustangs 71-40 on Friday night in Jackson to maintain a share of the Mother Lode League lead.

Taylor Manning and Jake Land each scored 13 points and Nick Elliott added 11 points to lead help Redskins (18-3, 7-2 MLL) stay tied with the Sonora Wildcats who defeated the Bret Harte Bullfrogs.

“I’m really pleased with the way we played tonight,” said Redskins head coach Kraig Clifton. “We started off strong with a 23-point first quarter and never looked back. We had balanced scoring because we moved and shared the ball with a purpose. Our defense was very good overall and outstanding in the paint, holding their leading scorer to zero field goals.”

Sonora starts hot, fast, holds off Bret Harte

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora’s Charlie Dunn (32, right) shoots a 3-pointer on Friday night against Bret Harte at Bud Castle Gym. Dunn scored a co-team high 18 points.
Nate Patterson, Charlie Dunn and Kahale Warring each scored 18 points on Friday night to lead the Sonora Wildcats over the Bret Harte Bullfrogs 73-61 at Bud Castle Gym in Sonora.

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 20-4 lead after the first quarter and lead 40-18 at halftime.

“I was excited in the first half with how we played defense,” said Wildcat head coach Dan Dona. “We did an awesome job to jump out like that. We also hit four 3s in the first quarter and shot real well.”

Columbia edged by West Hills

Columbia College guard Michael Meserole (34) looks for a teammate during a Central Valley Conference game against West Hills on Wednesday at Oak Pavilion. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
There was going to come a time this season when one player had to take over for the Columbia College men’s basketball team.

And on Wednesday night, that player was Tony Williams.

Williams rose to the occasion for the Claim Jumpers despite the team being severely crippled by foul trouble and the absence of two key players.

The lanky 6-foot-4 sophomore guard scored 24 of his team-high 27 points in the second half, but Columbia couldn’t overcome its own wrongdoings and fell 80-78 to West Hills in a Central Valley Conference match at Oak Pavilion.

“It was a tough game,” Williams said. “They played hard and we played hard. They just came out with the win.”

Cats make playoffs: Sonora defeats injury-plagued Bears

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora’s Nate Gookin (above right) and Summerville’s Constantin Rust wrestle on Wednesday in Tuolumne.
With a playoff berth on the line, the Sonora Wildcats were able to take down the Summerville Bears, 58-12, to clinch second place in the Mother Lode League Wednesday night in Tuolumne.

“We talked as a team this week that if we won this match, we could go to team sections and that was one of the goals the kids had,” Sonora coach Jon Abernathy said. “They came out and wrestled well. Summerville, of course, had difficulty fielding a full team, so that gave us a big advantage.”

That advantage went in Sonora’s favor early, as the Cats led 6-0 on a forfeit. In all, Sonora would win seven matches by way of forfeit.

After a Colton Sanguinetti 6-2 win in the 113-pound weight class, and an Austin Hickey win via forfeit, Sonora led 15-0.

Summerville sophomore Devin Conklin locked up with Kellen Philips in the 126-pound weight class and jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after the first round. He got two points on a takedown, and six points on two different near-falls. 

“I was keeping his legs tied up because that keeps his hips down, so that I could work other moves on top of him,” Conklin said. “That way I don’t have to use more energy than I have to.”

Preps roundup: Frogs now in 3rd; Cat student-athletes recognized

The Bret Harte Bullfrogs boys’ basketball team jumped into third place in the Mother Lode League Tuesday night with a narrow 61-59 victory over the Argonaut Mustangs (13-10, 5-4 MLL) in Angels Camp.

Michael Ziehlke scored 13 points to lead a balanced Bret Harte offensive attack.

Also for the Bullfrogs (12-8, 5-3 MLL) Kyle Olsen added 11 points and 11 rebounds, Danny Eustis-Smith netted 12 points, Bennett Paris added 10 and Eddie Santos chipped in seven.

Summerville rolls: Bears start quick, slam door on Lions

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Summerville point guard Braden Anderson (above) drives into the lane on Tuesday against Linden in Tuolumne.
Identical twins Eli and Ethan McLaurin are hard to differentiate on the basketball court.

Both are 6-foot-1 and sport the same style haircut.

If it weren’t for their numbers — 20 for Ethan and 34 for Eli — it would be hard to keep track of the Summerville Bear juniors.

Another common feature for Eli and Ethan is their ability to score and that was evident on Tuesday in Tuolumne. The McLaurin twins both caught fire and combined for 36 points to help the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team roll over the Linden Lions 61-37 in a Mother Lode League match.

Eli scored a game-high 22 points and Ethan added another 14. 

“It was probably one of the funnest games that I’ve ever played as a Bear,” Eli said. “It was an all-around great effort from the team. It was pretty fun.”

CC super shooter is among ‘King’ of treys in state

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia’s Rafe King shoots from beyond the arch on Saturday in front of a large crowd at Oak Pavilion.
When Rafe King launches the basketball from 3-point land, there is a 42.5 percent chance his shot will slice through the net.

King, a sophomore guard on the Columbia College men’s basketball team, is one of the premier shooters in California. 

The 6-foot-3 Carson City import is second in the state with 71 3-point baskets made and is now fourth all-time at Columbia with 151 career triples. He is behind Aaron Howell’s 278 (1989-91), Keith Robinson’s 161 (2010-12) and, if he gets hot tonight when the Claim Jumpers host West Hills, he could move past Mikey Dyer’s 156 (2000-02).

“Rafe is by far the best 3-point shooter I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Columbia freshman guard Marquell Hubbard, who leads the Claim Jumpers in scoring. “I’ve never seen anybody that can keep shooting. He has the same form everytime he shoots, and I expect it to go in every time.”

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