The Sonora Wildcats ended their regular season with a 12-0 record.
And two of the players who helped get them there ended their high school careers as co-MVPs of the Mother Lode League.
Senior guard Jace Decker and senior forward Damien Kress earned the honors.
Decker was the leading scorer for the Wildcats, said head coach Lloyd Longeway, and when needed, he stepped up every time.
“He put in a lot of time and work on his game,” said Longeway. He put in a lot of work outside of practice. He really wanted to see his team do well.”
Kress served as the team’s spark plug, said Longeway.
He is a dynamic athlete and fun to watch, he said.
After completing their undefeated season, the ‘Cats dropped their Round 1 division playoff to Foothill, 53-63.
A tough loss to be sure, said Longeway, and certainly not the way the seniors wanted to close out their careers.
Turns out their season wasn’t over quite yet.
On a Sunday afternoon in early March the team found out they had been awarded an at-large berth in the state championships.
Summerville High School and Calaveras High School were also awarded at-large berths in the state championships.
Summerville fell to Lassen in Division V, 55-51.
Calaveras won their first round game against Woodside Priory, 58-51. In the second round they lost to the No. 2 seed West Campus, 34-47.
Sonora played No. 6 Lick-Wilmerding in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division IV state championships.
The beat them 78-67 and Decker had 31 points for the Wildcats.
In Round 2 they lost to St. Mary’s, 67-61.
In addition to the co-MVP award, here’s the Mother Lode League players honored with all-league picks:
Sonora High School
Rico Sanchez received the character award.
Austin Patterson was named to the first team all-league.
And Jake Storm was honored with a second-team all-league pick.
Midas Calindas, Mitchell Camacho, Jace Decker, Trey Hawkins, Joe Thomason and Damien Kress were named to the all-academic team.
Summerville High School
Octavian Hernandez was given the character award.
Luke Fulkerson earned second team all-league honors.
Bret Harte High School
Jonathan Mayben received the character award. Michael Costa made the first team all-league.
Cameron Silva was named to the all-academic team.
Calaveras High School
Matt Dahl received the character award.
Dylan Autrey was named the league’s most outstanding player.
Bowie Wood made the first team all-league.
Wyatt Ames made the second team all-league.
Wyatt Ames, Jared Renberg, Bowie Wood, Moses Moreno and Adrian Arvizu earned all-academic team honors.