Union Democrat staff

How big was Sonora’s girls basketball win Thursday night?

Huge, said coach Amy Emerald.

The Wildcats hosted Calaveras and earned the 56-46 win, moving the team to an impressive 5-0 Mother Lode League record and a two-game lead over their nearest competitor.

“I'm so proud of my girls and how they handled tonight,” said Emerald.

After ending the first quarter in a 12-12 tie, the ‘Cats went on a 16-8 second quarter tear for a 28-20 halftime lead.

It was a hard-fought game from the start, with Sonora forcing turnovers and maintaining composure, said Emerald.

“The girls knew what was on the line and they responded so well,” she said.

Senior Shanece Garrett led scoring with a double-double - 16 points and 14 rebounds. She added four assists.

“Jessica Berry played a great overall game,” said Emerald.

She stepped up on defense, minimizing any Mustang height advantage.

Berry had five steals, three blocks, 15 points and six rebounds.

“She was great,” said Emerald.

Also producing for the Wildcats was junior Riley Hessler.

“(She) played another great game and her hustle creates so much,” said Emerald.

Hessler had 11 points and six rebounds.

Ainslee Shuemake had seven7 points.

Emily Berry scored three points and had seven rebounds.

Jacey Hawkins had 10 rebounds and four assists.

“We have another real big game coming up on Tuesday at Argonaut, but this was big,” said Emerald.

The game is at Argonaut (3-2, 15-8) and begins at 7:30 p.m.