The Sonora High School boys' golf team worked through the elements and defended its home course by winning the third of six Valley Oak League tournaments yesterday at Mountain Springs.

The Wildcats totaled 431 strokes to beat Buhach Colony of Atwater by five and to move within a point of first-place Oakdale in the VOL standings.

It was a tough day for everyone, as Sonora's score was the highest by a tourney winner this season, and no player was able to break 80 on the par-72 course.

"Not only were we battling the 40-mph gusts, we got the sideways rain and the hail," Sonora coach Steve Lee said.

Play was temporarily halted late in the afternoon, but was allowed to resume once the rain and hail passed as there was no lightning in the area. The wind never left.

Sonora's No. player, Andrew Silva, had one of those days and came in with an 87, but Loren Ksiazek and Brandon Schweitz picked him up with rounds of 83 (two of the top four scores on the day). Left-hander Aaron Jolley shot 88 and Dominic Sarno carded a 90.

The Wildcats collected 15 team points for the victory and now trail Oakdale only 40-39. The went in trailing the Mustangs 30-24. Oakdale has won sixth-man tiebreakers the last two weeks (for first and third place) to maintain its league lead.

Oakdale skied to 457 yesterday to tie with Manteca, which had the medalist via an 80 by Mike Munoz. Cody Wilson of Buhach Colony was next at 82, followed by Ksiazek and Schweitz.

The VOL race resumes Wednesday, March 26, with a tournament hosted by East Union, Manteca and Sierra at Manteca Municipal. Other regular-season tourneys are March 31 at Stevinson Ranch (hosted by Los Banos) and April 7 at the Turlock Country Club (hosted by Pitman).