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Tioga girls’ hoopsters beat Don Pedro 35-18

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Don Pedro’s Valeria Sandoval (21, above center) moves the ball down the court as Tioga Timberwolves Heidi Miller (10) and Kailey McCoy defend on Wednesday in Groveland.
Tioga’s Kailey McCoy made a steal and quickly went to the basket for a layup. 13 seconds later the sophomore point guard had the ball in her hands again and converted another drive to the basket. 30 ticks after that, McCoy grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback.

In matter of 43 seconds on Wednesday night, McCoy broke open a close contest and helped the Timberwolves pull away for a 35-18 Mountain Valley League victory over the short-handed Don Pedro Panthers in Groveland.

“Kailey is probably the most savvy girl out there,” said Tioga head coach Tari Skelley. “We’re just working on her goofy side.”


Here come the Bears: Summerville beats Bret Harte for 3rd straight win

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Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat Summerville’s Chad Sweitzer (12, above) hauls down a rebound while under pressure from Bret Harte’s Colin Preston on Tuesday in the Bears victory over Bret Harte in Tuolumne.
The ball movement for the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team was textbook on Tuesday against Bret Harte.

Every time a Summerville player had the ball, more often times than not, he made the correct read and pass. The Bears dished 18 assists and seven different players scored en route to a 58-49 Mother Lode League win over Bret Harte in Tuolumne.

Summerville senior Bryce Farrell scored 15 points, converting 70 percent of his shots on 7 of 10 attempts. The 6-foot-3 senior forward also hauled in seven rebounds and distributed two assists. Ethan McLaurin added 16 points and a team-best six steals.

“We had excellent ball movement today,” Farrell said after the Bears’ third straight win. “We made great and sound passes. They were safe, but they were also efficient and effective. That was part of the reason why we won tonight. I love making assists though. As a quarterback, I love passing the ball. It makes me feel good because other guys are scoring the points and you feel good about making great passes. Great passes are tougher to make than great shots.”


Preps roundup: Skins run MLL record to 5-0 with win over Buffs

The Calaveras Redskins boys hoopsters continued their winning ways on Tuesday with a 44-32 Mother Lode League victory over the Amador Buffaloes at Mike Flock Gym.

The Redskins are a perfect 5-0 in league and are 16-1 overall while the Buffaloes are 0-5 and 5-14.

Jake Land, Jacob Williams, and Brandon Cline each scored nine points for the Redskins while Dane Ehlers added six points and eight rebounds.

 “It was an ugly win, but they all count the same,” said Redskins head coach Kraig Clifton. “Not taking anything away from Amador, but I think we were a little flat, with a hangover from the Sonora game (a 53-36 emotional road victory on Friday). We can’t continue to play this way. Anybody in our league has the ability to beat us if we don’t show up to play. Hopefully we learn from this.”


Tioga rally falls just short vs. Langston

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.”


Claim Jumpers whack Merced

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia’s Alex Kiriluk shoots during the Claim Jumpers victory over Merced on Saturday at Oak Pavilion.
Nearly everything the Columbia College men’s basketball team tried to do Saturday went according to script.

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.”


Fast start helps Skins beat Cats

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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.
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.

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.”


Preps roundup: Summerville roars past Argo; Tioga wins two

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.”


Preps roundup: Sonora girls stay perfect in MLL, top Argonaut

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.”


Unblemished: Jumpers grind past Reedley to stay perfect in league play

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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.
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.

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.”


Show of strength: Calaveras tops Sonora, Linden in 3-way dual

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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.
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.

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.”


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