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Cats thrash Buffs; share league crown

Sonora’s Sabrina Truong (4, left) passes to Bailey Henington in the fourth period on Tuesday in the Wildcats 56-20 win over Amador at Bud Castle Gym. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
It was senior night for the Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym, and it was only fitting that it was a pair of seniors who provided the fireworks.

Sonora drained 10 triples, led by seniors Sandra Renda’s five and Hannah Garrett’s two, as the Wildcats coasted past the Amador Buffaloes 56-20. 

With the win, the Wildcats clinched a share of the Mother Lode League championship with Argonaut. This is their first conference title since 2008.

Renda dropped a game-high 17 points and Garrett scored 10. Brooke Canepa, also a senior, also registered 10 points. In all, 10 different Sonora players got on the score sheet.

Combined, the 2015 senior class recorded 44 of the Wildcat’s 56 points.

“It was an awesome feeling coming out tonight,” Garrett said. “We worked our hardest throughout this whole entire season to get where we are right now. It was one of our goals at the beginning of summer and at the beginning of the year, and we accomplished it. I’m really happy.”

Redskins wrestling claims crown

Jesse Jones/Union Democrat Calaveras’ Jason Stokkeland (right, at top) defeated Summerville’s Zach Marquez by decision on Friday to win the Mother Lode League 132-pound title.
The Calaveras Redskins wrestling team proved once again this season that they are still the Mother Lode League kings of the wrestling mat.

Calaveras, who hosted the MLL Tournament, captured the title with a team score of 236.5 points on Friday at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas. The championship is the Redskins ninth in a row.

Tyler Chavez (106), Johnny Hoskins (120), Jason Stokkeland (132), Anthony Giangregorio (138), Alex Rajewski (145), Ayden Garcia (170), John Kelley (195), Shane Torre (220) and Jarred Kirk (285) all topped their respective weight classes and won coveted first-place medals for Calaveras. 

“It’s always a pleasure,” Calaveras co-coach Mark Bowe said. “We really enjoy seeing the kids reap the benefits of their hard work. We put 11 kids in the finals. It’s really a testament of the kids working hard. That’s what we like. We like to see them get rewarded for their hard work.”

Calaveras girls defeat Summerville

The Calaveras Redskins girls’ basketball team kept its postseason hopes alive with a 45-38 win over Summerville on Monday in Tuolumne.

Brookelyn Vance-Larkin led Calaveras with 17 points. Tori Woods added 11 and Laney Evans had 10.

Calaveras led 16-12 after the first and held on the rest of the way. Alyssa Pecora, Emily Jasper, Alicia DeHerrera all had two. Katie Church tossed in one.

Wildcats edge Bears

Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat (Clockwise from top left) Sonora Wildcat Charlie Dunn (32, left) is challenged by Summerville’s Cole Brewster on Friday in a Mother Lode League boys’ basketball game in Tuolumne.

For The Union Democrat

A strong fourth-quarter performance helped the Sonora Wildcats keep their Mother Lode League championship dreams alive, as they defeated the Summerville Bears 68-58 Friday night in Tuolumne.  

Sonora outscored Summerville 20-9 in the game’s final 8 minutes, and are now one step closer to owning a share of the league title.

“Summerville really is a great team,” junior Charlie Dunn said. “I have been playing against them since elementary school, and they have never played us easy. We knew they were going to play hard, and we practiced really well for them. We just came together as a team in the fourth quarter and talked about how much we wanted it. Winning this game means we are still right there for a league championship, and that is what we wanted from the beginning. We weren’t going to give it to them easy tonight, and we came out and played our hardest.”

Jumpers rally in 2nd half to top Pirates

Columbia sophomore forward Rosendo AmayaWood (40) tosses a hook shot over Porterville’s Alex Simpson on Saturday during a Central Valley Conference game at Oak Pavilion. Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat
“Not dead, can’t quit.”

That phrase is the Columbia College men’s basketball team’s battle cry.

No matter how many points the Claim Jumpers are trailing by, they have an unwavering belief to keep on fighting by relying on each other.

And on Saturday night at Oak Pavilion, that mindset held true.

Columbia erased an eight-point deficit and made a furious rally in the second half to defeat the Porterville College Pirates 75-66 in a Central Valley Conference showdown.

Five different Claim Jumpers scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Tony Williams’ 15 points. Rosendo AmayaWood and Michael Meserole each netted 12. Ian Merzwinksi splashed 11 and Alex Kiriluk finished with 10. The team was able to bounce back immediately after suffering a disappointing loss to a two-win Merced squad earlier in the week.

“It feels a lot better,” AmayaWood said. “Obviously, a win’s a win, but it feels a lot better to come back from a terrible loss like that. That was not us. It’s nice to regroup and play as a family and play together as a team. That was the biggest thing. We just kind of put it all together and worked as a team and communicated. That’s what we need to do.”

Wildcats top Bears

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora Wildcat Hannah Garrett (2, left) attempts a layup while being defended by Summerville Bear Meaghan Hodge during a Mother Lode League game on Thursday at Bud Castle Gym.

For The Union Democrat

If there was any concern among the Sonora faithful after the Wildcats girls’ basketball team lost their first Mother Lode League game of the season to Argonaut Tuesday in Jackson, they can now relax as the Cats defeated the Summerville Bears 64-25 Thursday night at Bud Castle Gym.  

A strong first-half performance helped guide Sonora to its 10th MLL win of the season.

“I think the loss to Argonaut was kind of a wake-up call,” Sonora head coach Amy Santos said. “We did not play well against Argonaut, and it shook us up. You never want to lose, but hopefully that loss was a blessing in disguise.”

Columbia falls to Merced in overtime

The Columbia College men’s basketball team lost an 83-81 heartbreaker to Merced on Wednesday in a Central Valley Conference game.

Columbia hit 11 triples, but  Merced countered by draining 15.

Columbia led 36-34 at halftime and Rafe King forced overtime with two clutch free throws with .6 seconds to play.

In the extra period, the Claim Jumpers went ahead by five with 3 minutes to go, but couldn’t hold on down the stretch.

Merced snapped its 18-game losing streak and won its first match in CVC play.

“We weren’t focused and made too many mistakes,” Columbia coach Rob Hoyt said. “And that all comes back to me. I didn’t prep them well enough for the game.”

Bear AD Mager receives MacKenzie Award

Summerville High School director of athletics Debbie Mager was selected by the California State Athletic Directors Association as the 2014-15 Sac-Joaquin Section recipient of the Norm MacKenzie Award.

The award is presented to an outstanding athletic director who has been in the field between one to four years.

“It is a huge honor to be chosen for this award,” Mager said. “One that means a great deal because there are so many great athletic directors in the Sac-Joaquin Section that I admire because they work endless hours giving back to the student-athletes. That’s what it is all about.”

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.”

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