Sonora’s girls varsity basketball team has just one league loss this year. It came earlier this month against Calaveras.

This week the ‘Cats got their payback with a 63-53 victory in San Andreas.

“It was a great back and forth game,” said coach Amy Emerald.

At the end of the first it was 18-17. At the half, Sonora was clinging to another one-point lead, 30-29.

As the third quarter got underway, Emerald’s team was surging, playing their game and put Calaveras on their heels.

“We drove the ball really well,” said Emerald. “That’s something we’ve been working on.”

That relentless effort forced mistakes and sent the Wildcats to the line 37 times. They made 24 of them.

“We did a really good job of drawing the fouls,” said Emerald.

Despite having two post players leave the game with early foul trouble, Sonora’s solid bench players came in to seal the gaps.

“It really didn’t slow us down at all,” said Emerald.

Shanece Garrett led the team on scoring with 22 points. She also had eight rebounds and four steals. Caitlin Baker had 16 points and eight rebounds. Haylie Santos added 14 points and seven steals.

This season’s team is an impressive mix of talent with players representing each grade.

The team hadn’t played together until just as league play was getting underway. Emerald called up two freshman - Jessica Berry and Jaycee Hawkins - to help round out a roster that was struggling some with injury and illness.

But that has only helped the team’s dynamic.

Emerald had a lot of confidence in her freshman picks. They both played virtually year-round and have parental support, experience and athleticism.

“When I look to bring somebody up I’m looking for someone with the whole package,” she said. “They’ve done exactly what I’ve expected.”

Tuesday’s win was emotionally exhausting, said Emerald. That makes Friday’s night off even more important as league play ends and the playoffs begin.

The Wildcats will play at Argonaut Tuesday and at Summerville Feb. 9 before returning home for their final regular season game Feb. 13 against Linden.

Those games are the focus right now, said Emerald. There’s no talk of the post-season. There’s plenty of work to be done before that discussion takes place.

Especially the Argonaut game.

“Argonaut is going to be the league title game,” said Emerald.

So the ‘Cats will keep their heads down, putting in work, just like they’ve done all season.

Emerald wants to fine-tune the offense, making sure scoring opportunities are taken advantage of. They’ll work on a few defensive rotations, too.

And while there is always room for improvement, Emerald is pleased with the team’s progress.

“This is a good time to be peaking,” she said.

IT was a great back and forth game last night

We kind of got out a little bit early

At the end of the first it was 18*17

At half time it was 30-29

We were able to pull ahead a little in the third quarter

A few baskets late sealed the win for the cats

Each team would go on a little bit of a run

But we were able

That was really exciting

Shanece had 22 points for us

We went to the line 37 times and made 24

We did a really good job of drawing the fouls

We drove the ball really well

That’s something we’ve been working on

We’ve bee

Two of our post players went out with two fouls pretty quick

It really didnt’ slow us down at all

I was really

Jessica Berry

They both had a lot of playing time with travel teams

It’s kind of unfortunate in a way that kids habe to play year round

These girls have had the parental support

Just their experinec and athelti

They’re both just great kids

All four of my underclassmen

That was my expectation fro the beginning

When i look to bring somebody up i’m looking for somene with the whole package

They’e done exactly what i’ve exp

We’re talking about our next game

Three in a row that

I’m actually really happy we have a bye this friday

Last night was exhausting

Argonaut is going to be the league title game

After that at summerville


Need to work more on offense

We didn’t play

Not a lot of coheseness

Just a few defensive rotations

They are night and day different

Litteraly we have two girls from each grade on the team

Usually there’s a core

They han’dt played together

Them getting them used

This is a good time to be peaking