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Columbia can’t find offense in loss to COS

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Columbia’s Marquell Hubbard passes on Saturday during the Claim Jumpers loss to College of Sequioas at Oak Pavilion. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
When the Columbia College men’s basketball team is executing at a high level, the Claim Jumpers are tough to beat.

But against College of the Sequoias on Saturday at Oak Pavilion, Columbia’s execution wasn’t on par to head coach Rob Hoyt’s liking.

The Claim Jumpers shot just 32 percent from the field (16 of 49) and were defeated by the Giants 58-47 in front of their largest crowd of the season.

Tony Williams scored a team-high 12 points and was the only Columbia player in double-figures. Rafe King and Michael Meserole both tossed in nine and Marquell Hubbard added seven. Rosendo AmayaWood finished with two. The 47 points registered is the fewest the team has scored all year.

“Everybody was kind of cold,” Hoyt said. “We rely on certain guys from certain areas of the floor and they’re trying and they’re doing their best, but we were just unable to connect.”


Strong 2nd half propels Cats over Skins

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Sonora’s Michelle Ries goes up for two of her 18 points on Thursday in the Wildcats’ win over the Calaveras Redskins at Bud Castle Gym. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
Sandra Renda and Michelle Ries put on a show for the Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team.

Without leading-scorer Bailey Henington, who missed Thursday’s Mother Lode League game because of a prior commitment, Renda and Ries answered the call.

Renda scored a game-high 23 points while hitting five triples and Ries added 18 points, all in the paint, to help Sonora pull away in the second half over Calaveras in a 57-42 win at Bud Castle Gym.

“We really ran our offenses through and we kept swinging the ball,” Ries said. “We weren’t forcing shots like we sometimes do. When we didn’t have looks on the inside, we kicked it back out, and when the outside wasn’t open, we swung it back in.”


Preps roundup: Mat Cats lose once in victory over ROP

The Sonora Wildcats wrestling team almost made a clean sweep of Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage on Wednesday.

The Wildcats lost just one match and earned a 78-6 victory.

“Their wrestlers were very physical and athletic, but our wrestlers were able to wear them down with constant pressure and take advantage of their inexperience,” said Wildcat head coach Jon Abernathy. “We lost just one match and that was a wrestler who had just returned from an injury and is not in wrestling shape.”


Merzwinski followed an unlikely path to Columbia College

After graduating from Mariposa High School in 2012, Ian Merzwinski never thought playing college basketball was a possibility.

Merzwinski enrolled at Cabrillo College in Aptos that following fall and pursued to continue his athletic career through baseball, but that plan fell through.

“I wanted to do baseball, but that just didn’t work out,” Merzwinski said. “So, I took the spring semester off and just lifted.”


Byrnes steps down as Bret Harte head football coach

The Bret Harte Bullfrogs football program will be under new leadership for the second time in three years.

Jon Byrnes, who took over as the varsity head football coach in 2013, stepped down before winter break and his resignation was accepted at this month’s Bret Harte Union School board meeting. Byrnes will still remain on staff as a physical education teacher.

“It’s tough to lose Jon,” Bullfrogs athletic director Heath Lane said. “We thought he did a good job of trying to turn our program around. It’s not going to be an easy task (for the next person). We need to get more people involved, including at the youth levels and get our numbers up. It’s going to be a challenge.”

 For the full story, see Thursday's sports section of the Union Democrat. 


Wildcats pull away from Lions in 4th

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Sonora’s Adriana Carrera (23, above) gets a hand on the ball while teammate Brooke Canepa (behind) helps with the double team on Tuesday against Linden at Bud Castle Gym.
The Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team went through the first round of the Mother Lode League gauntlet unscathed, but that didn’t stop head coach Amy Santos from doing her due diligence for the squad’s next match.

Santos, present for the Linden-Summerville showdown during Sonora’s bye last Thursday in Tuolumne, was in the stands scouting the Wildcats’ next opponent: Linden.

And that time Santos invested paid off on Tuesday as Sonora defeated the Linden Lions 69-47 at Bud Castle Gym.

“I’ve always been about that (scouting),” Santos said. “That’s one of the hard things about going into a new league is I don’t have the game film and the tendencies of other coaches, so you have to kind of pick up things when you can here and there. I also had a couple of my players come up and watch that game too. We had a free night, so they came up to watch and that paid off. We executed well tonight.”


Preps roundup: Dunn’s 3 key to Cats OT win

Sonora’s Charlie Dunn hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime on Tuesday and the Wildcats went on to beat their hosts, the Linden Lions, 64-63.

Carter Denton saved a ball from going out of bounds and found Dunn in the lane.

With just seconds left, Dunn dribbled to the corner where he quickly turned and let fly his game-tying shot and slienced the once roaring home crowd.

“It was a very exciting win for us,” said Wildcat head coach Dan Dona. “Charlie just kind of willed us to the win. He hit that big 3 and he played great defense.”


Cats place 6th at 38th Hatler Memorial

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora’s Nate Gookin (above, left) has his way with Lodi’s Justin Loveall on Saturday at the 38th annual Robert Hatler Memorial Tournament at Bud Castle Gym.
The Sonora Wildcats wrestling team placed sixth at its own 38th annual Robert Hatler Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Bud Castle Gym.

Summerville finished eighth and Bret Harte was 11th. Calaveras came in 13th. Elk Grove topped the field, placing first followed by Buhach Colony at second and Lodi at third.

Bear sophomore Zach Marquez recorded a 3-0 record to capture the 138-pound title. Wildcat Nate Gookin coasted to a 2-0 mark and won the 182 division.


Paris scores with seconds left to lift Frogs

By GUY DOSSI

For The Union Democrat

Bret Harte Bullfrog senior Bennett Paris stunned the Calaveras Redskins, and their fans, on Friday night inside a packed house at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas.

Paris hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just seconds remaining to hand the Redskins their first Mother Lode League loss, 41-39.

“The play was set up for us to get a backdoor screen, but they switched defenses on us,” Paris said. “Once I got the ball, I knew that I had to shoot it. I knew that I was going to make it. I knew that it was now or never. I had full confidence in myself.”  

 


Bullfrog girls prevail over Skins in OT

By GUY DOSSI

For The Union Democrat

Four quarters of basketball wouldn’t be enough time to crown a winner Friday night, as the Bret Harte Bullfrogs and Calaveras Redskins girls’ basketball team squared off in the Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas. 

Bret Harte needed overtime to put away its cross-county rival in a 48-44 victory.

Neither team could gain an advantage over the other in the first quarter. The Skins took a 7-4 lead midway through the first quarter on a Brookelyn Vance-Larkin free-throw, but Bret Harte ended the quarter on a Sydney Davis bucket off of a crisp pass from Bailey VanZant. The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter.

“Close games like tonight are really hard to play in because nobody is able to get a run going,” Davis said. “So you can never really take a break out there. You always feel that if you don’t score, they will and there are no second chances against a team like Calaveras.” 

 


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