The Tioga Timberwolves girls’ basketball team erased a 13-point halftime deficit, but fell just short losing 21-20 to Langston Hughes Academy on Monday in Groveland.
Tioga fell behind 7-2 in the first quarter and 15-2 at the break before charging back in the second half.
Kailey McCoy scored nine points and Heidi Miller chipped in five. Randie Scott finished with four points.
“Even though we started making baskets and we played a mean defense, Langston Hughes stayed fierce,” said Timberwolves head coach Tari Skelley. “It all came down to the last seconds of the game, unfortunately we just couldn’t make one play.”
Nearly everything the Columbia College men’s basketball team tried to do Saturday went according to script.
Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia’s Alex Kiriluk shoots during the Claim Jumpers victory over Merced on Saturday at Oak Pavilion.
On offense, the game plan was to attack Merced’s man defense and rack the ball, and defensively, Columbia wanted to protect the paint with its zone scheme and allow the Blue Devils opportunities from the 3-point line.
The Claim Jumpers executed that specific strategy and steamrolled the Blue Devils, who never threatened, winning 82-48 at Oak Pavilion to improve their record in Central Valley Conference play to a perfect 4-0.
All 10 Columbia players scored, led by sophomore guard Rafe King, who tallied 20 points and drained five triples. Marquell Hubbard finished with 15 points and forward Ian Merzwinski shot a perfect 5 of 5 and added 10. Tony Williams and Andrew Ignont each netted five and Alex Kiriluk had nine. Travis Arenas drilled a 3 and Rosendo AmayaWood and Will Collamer had two apiece.
“It was cool to see everybody score,” King said. “I know Travis, Will and ‘Drew — they never get in — so it was awesome for them to get in today and score. We were all excited.”
Brandon Cline helped get Calaveras off to a hot start on Friday night and then emphatically added the exclamation point in the Redskins’ Mother Lode League victory over the Sonora Wildcats.
Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Calaveras junior Brandon Cline (35) scores two of his co-game high 14 points on Friday against Sonora at Bud Castle Gym.
The 6-foot, 7-inch junior center scored the game’s first six points and had eight total in the first period as the Redskins raced out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back, beating the Wildcats 53-36 in front of a mostly-packed house at Bud Castle Gym.
“Oh my gosh, Brandon Cline, oh God, there’s some words I probably can’t use right now,” said Calaveras guard Kyle Funk. “He was a man! That’s the first time we’ve really seen him step up and use his size like that. Early in the game I think he had the first six or eight points off those seals and post ups. He gave us guards the opportunity to relieve the pressure off ourselves by getting the ball to him. We don’t win that game without him that’s the bottom line.”
After starting Mother Lode League play with an 0-2 record, the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team rebounded with victories over Amador and Argonaut.
Summerville beat Amador 71-62 last Wednesday in Sutter Creek and dispatched Argonaut 68-46 on Friday in Tuolumne.
“We played pretty darn good,” said Summerville Bears head coach Ben Watson. “We came out and played with quite a bit of energy than we have the last couple of games. We played pretty good defense. We had a big second quarter, moved the ball well and hit some shots.”
Identical twin brothers Ethan and Eli McLaurin led the Bears offensively. Ethan scored 18 and Eli added 16 against Argonaut.
“They’ve been doing very well, consistently leading the team in scoring,” Watson said of the McLaurins. “They can score from the outside and inside. That makes it a little bit harder to defend us.”
The Sonora girls’ basketball team had three different players score in double-figures, and the Wildcats defeated Argonaut 58-41 on Wednesday night at Bud Castle Gym.
Bailey Henington recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 steals. The senior guard also had five assists and four rebounds. Hannah Garrett finished with 13 points and Michelle Ries added 11.
The Wildcats sprinted to a 17-7 first quarter advantage but led just 25-23 at halftime.
In the second half, Sonora responded and went on a 34-18 run, dropping 12 and 22 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
“We played an inspired second half,” said Wildcats head coach Amy Santos. “We ran the press better. We responded and I couldn’t have been prouder of the way we played in the second half.”
Rosendo AmayaWood scored only two points, but the former Summerville Bear standout made the biggest play of the game for the Columbia College men’s basketball team.
Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia guard Marquell Hubbard (top) blows past Reedley’s Shepherd Brevil on Wednesday during the Claim Jumpers 62-56 victory at Oak Pavilion.
With under 20 seconds left in regulation, Reedley College was in prime position to tie the Central Valley Conference showdown, but AmayaWood, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward, leaped in the air near the rim and smacked away the Tigers’ equalizing shot attempt towards the middle of the court.
“I knew he was coming in and was going to try to lay it up,” AmayaWood said of his game-saving block. “And I was right on the side, so I knew I could get a hand on it. I didn’t want to foul and I saw the ball go up and I just ripped at it. I knew it was a big play.”
Every season, Calaveras Redskins wrestling coaches Vince Bicocca and Mark Bowe shuffle their lineups with first-year varsity grapplers and a few veterans, but the end results usually stay the same.
Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Calaveras’ Trevor Vath (above, bottom right) defeated Sonora’s Coleton Masters on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym in Sonora in the Redskins dual victory over both Linden and the Wildcats.
The Redskins win and that tradition of success has built the program into a Division V powerhouse.
Calaveras has captured back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section team titles and has owned the Mother Lode League, winning 10 consecutive conference crowns.
And on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym, the Redskins continued their dominance, beating the host team, the Sonora Wildcats, 43-24, and Linden 69-9.
“We keep our noses to the grindstone,” said Bowe, who has coached together with Bicocca for 34 years. “We keep our kids humble. We aspire to more than just winning the league. The Mother Lode League is a good competitive league, but we have higher goals. We want to get to the state meet. We want to place in the state meet, and this is the lower tier of that, the first qualifier to get to the divisional, and then to the masters and then to the state. It’s always great to win league, but we try to set our sights higher.”
Bennett Paris canned five triples to help the Bret Harte Bullfrogs boys’ basketball team defeat Argonaut 49-46 on Monday in Jackson.
Paris converted 5 of 15 3-pointers and scored a team-high 16 points. The senior also grabbed seven rebounds.
“The kids played extremely hard on defensive end and we were able to out rebound them on the offensive end,” said Bullfrogs head coach Jeff Eltringham. “We moved the ball better against their zone, which allowed us to attack off the dribble.”
Jacob Williams had been battling a cold and cough all weekend long, but that didn’t stop the Calaveras senior from suiting up for the Redskins boys’ basketball team on Monday.
Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Calaveras’ Jacob Williams (12, above left) shoots a jump shot on Monday against Summerville in Tuolumne.
Williams came off the bench and drilled four of Calaveras’ nine triples to help the Redskins roll past the Summerville Bears 55-44 in a Mother Lode League game in Tuolumne.
“It felt good,” Williams said. “My shot just felt good. I knew we needed some shots, so I had to put them in.”
Williams shot 57 percent from beyond the arch on 4 of 7 shooting.
“He’s a shooter,” Calaveras head coach Kraig Clifton said of Williams. “He just has a knack of finding that open spot, and the kids know how to find him. That’s really what it boils down too — the kids know how to find him and he’s ready to shoot it as soon as he steps inside the gym.”
Thirty-one competitors braved cold weather on Jan. 3 to compete in the first High Power match of the year at Mother Lode Gun Club.
Bob Gill, of Visalia, won the match shooting a 496-32X out of 500 possible.
Forrest Greenwood, of Ceres, won first High Master with a score of 489-10X.
First Master was Morgan Owen, of Sonora, shooting 486-15X, followed by Lane Ichord, of Waterford with 484-11X.