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Sonora High School's hopes of hanging on for a Valley Oak League co-championship all but ended in a 47-38 loss to Manteca last night.

The Wildcats (14-8, 8-2 VOL) are 1 1/2 games behind Sierra of Manteca (19-6, 10-1), which clinched a tie for its first championship via Sonora's loss and its own 57-37 victory over last-place Los Banos (8-17, 1-9).

All Sierra has to do for the outright title is win its finale against Buhach Colony of Atwater (7-15, 2-8).

It was a tough week for Sonora, which missed a chance to clinch the championship for itself Tuesday by losing 53-39 to Sierra at Bud Castle Gym. The Wildcats felt the sting of revenge at the hands of both Sierra and and third-place Manteca (18-5, 7-3), both of which they beat in January, and they now seem ticketed for a fourth straight second-place finish.

The Manteca game got away in the second quarter, when Sonora scored only three points to fall behind 20-11 by halftime.

Despite being kept away from the offensive boards, Peterson scored a game-high 22 points for Sonora. Sara Cross enjoyed a big game for Manteca, scoring 20 points after being held to nine in a 46-34 loss at Sonora in the league opener Jan. 7. She made seven free throws in the fourth quarter as the Buffaloes were protecting their lead.

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