WILDCATS BEAT BRET HARTE, REACH .500

December 04, 2002 12:00 am

Sonora High School never trailed in evening its boys' basketball record with its second 10-point victory in as many nights, 53-43 over Bret Harte on Tuesday night at Bud Castle Gym.

The Wildcats (2-2) got 16 points and 12 rebounds from senior center Tom McDonnell, 11 points from junior shooting guard Zach Dyer and seven points and six assists from senior point guard Rob Hoyt.

"We had control of the game most of the night, and we got to play a lot of kids," Sonora coach Rick Francis said.

Francis, in fact, used all 12 available players. Starting forward Rob Smittle was out of town because of a family emergency.

The only time the Wildcats, who were coming off a 67-57 victory Monday night over Atwater, didn't lead was when the score was 2-2. They held edges of 19-17 after one quarter, 31-24 at halftime and 42-30 at the end of three quarters.

Bret Harte (0-1) got 11 points and five rebounds from senior forward Scott Russell, eight points — all in the first quarter — from senior guard Jon Aitken, eight points and five rebounds from senior forward Travis Emerson and four assists from senior guard Aaron Elevi.

"I thought we did fine," Bret Harte coach Jerry Rucker said. "We played well in the first half, but they turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and we lost our composure for a little while."

Only the varsity teams played as the contest was Sonora's Sac-Joaquin Section-approved "foundation game" for fund-raising and scholarship purposes. The Sonora and Bret Harte girls played (see separate story) before the boys' game.

Sonora's next action is the Shasta Tournament at 8:30 Thursday night in Redding, against hometown team Enterprise.