They’re No. 1

Sonora boys basketball moves to top spot in Mother Lode League It would come down to the final four seconds Friday night as Sonora and Calaveras’ boys varsity basketball teams battled for the top spot in the Mother Lode League.

Trailing by two, sophomore Austin Patterson took a shot, it missed, and Calaveras got the rebound.

Then they called a timeout. But they had none to take. The miscue gave the Wildcats two free throws. Senior Jace Decker got the call and made one of them for the one-point lead. A foul on Austin Patterson and his one-for-two from the line would seal the win for Sonora, 61-59 after Calaveras heaved a hopeful shot from mid-court.

It was neck and neck the whole game, said Sonora’s head coach Lloyd Longeway. But that didn’t come as a surprise.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Longeway said.

Calaveras is the reigning Mother Lode League champion.

But it’s a testament to Longeway’s belief that on any given night, anyone can win.

“We just played with a lot of energy,” he said. “We played super hard. I wasn’t really surprised.”

Patterson played a big role in the win, too. With seconds to go in the half, he cleared a rebound and scored on a layup to tie the score at the half, 29-29.

The ‘Cats built a seven-point lead going into the final quarter.

But Calaveras battled back, tying the game with seconds to go.

“I knew we were capable,” said Longeway. “I just knew we would need a couple of breaks. I’m just really proud of the seniors.”

Senior Damien Kress had 11 points.

“He was really tough for them to guard,” Longeway said.

Senior Jacob Storm had 10 points.

“He played tough against all their size all night,” Longeway said.

Junior Midas Calindas had five points and senior Rico Sanchez came in off the bench and added five points.

Patterson led the way offensively with 25 points.

The team will get a short break with a bye tonight. They’ll use it to recover some from last week’s three-game run, said Longeway.

And they’ll be hard at work preparing for a league game against Linden High School.

“Linden always plays a fast-paced styled game,” said Longeway. “It’s usually fun to watch.”

The Wildcats will play at home. And yes, the Golden Regiment Band will be in the house.

The varsity game begins at 7:30 p.m Friday.