Orange Lutheran's Joseph Riley, left, and Sonora's Christian Rhodes dive for the loose ball during a North O.C. Championship Tournament game at Sonora High School on Thursday.

Sonora wins at both ends


Sonora's defense made the winning plays to topple No. 10 Orange Lutheran in boys basketball Thursday night.

Leading by three, the Raiders pulled off one last stop of the Lancers to claim a 57-52 victory in the quarterfinals of the North Orange County Championships at Sonora.

On Wednesday night, Sonora's offense enjoyed a 94-point outburst in a victory against M.L. King of Riverside.

“In the fourth quarter, we really stepped it up big time,” Raiders acting coach Jason Stein said of Thursday's win. “We played a little bit of zone and that threw them off balance. And in the end, our man defense came through.”

Sonora (7-2) had a four-point lead and the ball with 30 seconds left. But an Orange Lutheran steal and basket cut the lead to two. The Raiders made 1 of 2 free throws following that, which allowed the Lancers (5-3) an opportunity to force overtime.

C.J. Hankins held the ball, but could never get a clean look at the basket.

That was just one of many plays Sonora's defense came up with in the fourth. Josh Rodriguez, Ben Rico and Steven Murphy came up with steals in the final quarter to keep Orange Lutheran at bay.

Rodriguez was coming off a 41-point performance Wednesday. He followed that up with 16 points against the Lancers.

It was Sonora's third win against a Trinity League team this season. It had previously beaten Santa Margarita and Servite.

“We know the Trinity League is the toughest league in Orange County,” Stein said. “So that's really big for us, especially little Sonora from North Orange County.

“It's good to knock off the big boys.”

The Raiders take on La Mirada on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Sonora.

Canyon faces Downey in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.

See archived 'Sports' stories »
Ads by Google

Other Varsity coverage:
Inland Empire
Search Players


Centennial/Corona 42, Mater Dei 29 - 08:54 4th QT - Completed


Villa Park 21, La Habra 42 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Mission Viejo 56, Chino Hills 14 - 03:00 3rd QT - Completed


El Modena 20, Canyon 35 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Brea Olinda 17, Garden Grove 7 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Grace Brethren 33, Brethren Christian 14 - 02:02 2nd QT - Completed


Fullerton 30, Aliso Niguel 72 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Redondo Union 1, Mater Dei 3 - 4th Set - Completed


Mater Dei 28, Serra/Gardena 27 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed


Murrieta Valley 21, Mission Viejo 42 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed