The Union Democrat Sports Department

The Sonora Wildcats girls' basketball team beat cross-county rival, the Summerville Bears, 47-22on Tuesdayin Tuolumne.

Although the Wildcats won by 25 points, the game was a lot closer than the score indicated.

Sonora junior Sandra Renda put up a prayer from distance as the buzzer sounded to lead the Wildcats into the break with a 24-19 advantage.

That shot was the needle in the arm that Sonora needed to boost its confidence.

"Sandra hit a deep three pointer to end the half to build some momentum," said Wildcats head coach Amy Santos. "We just kind of got on a streak and rode it all the way to the end."

After an average first half, Santos made defensive adjustments to counter Summerville's offensive attack. She called off the full-court press and fell back into a half-court zone.

That strategy helped settle down the Wildcats' energy as they went on an 18-1 run in the third.

"That forced turnovers early," Santos said. "It turned into points at the other end. Switching our defense really was our turning point for us. We got steals quick and went on a run."

After sitting out for a portion of the first half because of foul trouble, Bailey Henington entered the third quarter and reeled off two straight 3-pointers to help Sonora pull the game away.

"Henington, she came out and hit a couple of threes," said Summerville head coach Dave Woods. "They're a good team. Bailey is a special player. She's a cut above everybody else."

Bailey scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in that third quarter alone.

Summerville was missing top scorer Racquel Relva in the second half.

Without Relva, who drained seven points in two quarters of play, in the lineup, the Bears had a hard time keeping up.

"She was playing really well," Woods said. "That kind of hurt us. She was driving to the basket, drawing fouls. It kind of took the heart out of some of the girls. We went flat in the second half. We just went ice cold shooting. We just couldn't buy a basket."

Summerville recorded only three points combined in the third and fourth quarters.

"Had we just been able to keep scoring, we could have kept it close," Woods said. "But we let it get away in the third quarter."

Summerville (2-2) will host Central Catholic tonight at7:30 p.m.

Up next for Sonora (3-1) is a trip to the Lodi Tournamenton Thursday.

"We have a lot of first-year varsity girls on this team and I'm really pleased with their progress," Santos said. "We had some definite progress that needed to be made, and I'm really happy with where we're at."