Sonora arrives motivated, cruises into next round


LA HABRA - There might have been some concern on the Sonora girls basketball team about how it would bounce back from a narrow defeat in the CIF-SS Division 3AA final on Saturday.

It didn’t last long.

“They seemed like they were ready to go,” Sonora coach Melissa Barajas said of his players’ attitude at practice Monday. “They wanted to know what it took to get to that next level. They were focused, came out really hungry, so I knew we would be OK and ready.”

Sonora was better than OK against visiting Mission Oak of Tulare in the first round of the Southern California Division III Regional Championships on Wednesday night, coasting to a 69-22 home victory.

The Raiders (28-4) led, 19-8, after the first quarter and then put the game away, outscoring the Hawks, 25-2, in the second to take a 44-10 lead into halftime.

Sonora will be at Norco on Saturday in the second round of the regionals.

“We were playing well on defense,” Sonor senior guard Jasmine Shedd said. “Our (defensive) traps were nice, and we were pushing the ball and distributing.

“I have a lot of faith in my team, and I know that games like that (the loss to Orange Lutheran) aren’t going to knock us down. We just get back up and play.”

Sonora’s press gave Mission Oak (26-8) fits in the first half, forcing 20 first-half turnovers, which resulted in several easy baskets for the Raiders.

All of the good looks on the offensive end, led to a balanced attack for the Raiders. Lainie James led the way with 18 points. Marissa Dunn and Meghann Henderson had 12 apiece. Angela Rodriguez and Jasmine Shedd had nine and eight, respectively.

“We knew (Mission Oak) could be a problem if they slowed it down, so we wanted to run, run, run, and the kids bought in and did a really good job, keeping their heads up and looking for their teammates,” Barajas said.

“Our balance is a key to success. We were looking for everybody, moving the ball and our defense also allowed a lot of people to get involved.”

Sonora stretched its lead 40 points early in the third quarter and it peaked at 46 on a 3-point field goal by Izzie Shedd to end the quarter.

The Raiders scored just 28 points in their loss to Orange Lutheran in the 3AA title game. They reached that total against Mission Oak, the Central Section Division III champion, early in the second quarter.

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