By KEVIN SAULS
The Sonora High School girls' basketball team made the plays it had to down the stretch and held on for a 45-42 victory over Lodi on Monday night at Bud Castle Gym.
Center-forward Jessica Peterson banked in a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats (6-6) their biggest lead at 45-37 with 3:01 remaining and, after Sonora missed three one-and-one free throw chances in the last 22 seconds, guard Lynnyatte Jordan made a clinching steal as Lodi (8-6) was trying to maneuver for a possible tying shot as time ran out.
Peterson finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds in a dominating individual performance, but team play was the key for the Wildcats as 14 of their 18 field goals including all five in the four quarter were assisted.
"Amazing how when we have more turnovers than assists, we lose, and when we have more assists than turnovers, we win," Sonora coach Charmon Logan said.
The Wildcats committed only 10 turnovers and generally kept the Lodi defense on the run with crisp ball movement on the perimeter punctuated by quick and accurate passes inside to Peterson and center Nichole Horvath.
Six different Wildcats had assists, with Horvath, forward Rachel Wolfe and Jordan dishing three apiece, Peterson and guard Haley Hohengarten two each, and Webbon one. Hohengarten also scored 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers.
The trey that got under Lodi's skin was Peterson's, which was launched from just right of the top of the key and rammed in off the backboard.
"She dominated the game, but she really changed it with that 3-pointer," said Lodi coach Erin Aitken, who is married to Sonora assistant varsity boys' coach Eric Aitken.
"She called the bank shot," joked one Sonora fan after the game, referring to the gym-rat rule of off-the-glassers only counting if they're prearranged in games like H-O-R-S-E.