A big victory going into the playoffs was just what the Sonora High School girls' basketball team needed.
"This was a little therapeutic for everyone," Sonora coach Charmon Logan said after her team dismantled archrival Oakdale 63-29 last night at Bud Castle Gym in the regular-season finale.
The Wildcats (15-9, 9-3 Valley Oak League) snapped a three-game losing streak and finished in second place by themselves when Manteca (19-6, 8-4) lost 46-40 to crosstown rival East Union (13-12, 8-4).
Sonora came in two games behind first-time champion Sierra of Manteca (20-6, 11-1). Sierra won all three levels of the VOL varsity, sophomore and freshman with a combined league record of 37-3 (the only soph loss was to Sonora).
Nobody at the Sonora game cared about Sierra, though, as the Wildcats romped all over Oakdale (7-16, 2-10) from start to finish. Sonora led 11-2 at the quarter, closed the half with a 16-0 run for a 31-8 lead, and took a 51-23 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Post players Jessica Peterson and Nichole Horvath celebrated Senior Night, and their last home game, by combining for 22 points and 18 rebounds. Peterson had 12 points and 13 boards, Horvath 10 and five.
Peterson was joined in an all-senior starting lineup by guards Nicki Rodriguez and Lynnyatte Jordan, and forwards Rachel Wolfe and Aino Kalske, the latter an exchange student from Finland.
Kalske started for the first time and delighted the crowd by assisting Rodriguez on Sonora's second field goal of the game, then by sinking a short baseline jump shot from the left side off a pass from Cammy Fumar for a 9-2 lead with 1:24 left in the quarter.
How did she like her starting role?
"It was awesome," Kalske said.
"She played well," Logan said. "She's finally gotten an understanding of the physical aspects of the game. She was physical. She did fine."