Sports

Raiders romp La Habra, Lady Highlanders spoil Sonora varsity sweep

Sonora's Josh Rodriguez attempts an acrobatic shot against La Habra's Justin Jaimez during the second half of Sonora's 57-35 win, Friday night at home.
Sonora’s Josh Rodriguez attempts an acrobatic shot against La Habra’s Justin Jaimez during the second half of Sonora’s 57-35 win, Friday night at home. Photos by Jay Seidel, La Habra Journal

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys’ basketball team defeated La Habra, 57-35, in the rivalry game on Friday night at Sonora High School.

The Raiders (18-3, 4-0) came out strong in the first quarter, both offensively and defensively.

“We’ve been preparing for a year,” said Mike Murphy, Sonora head coach. “We’ve spent a year preparing everyday. We’ve played almost 100 games to get to this point. We’ve seen a lot of tape on them, we thought we had the scouted pretty well and it’s always a fun game with the crowd and the city rivalry so it’s always a great game.”

Adam Marlow drove the ball down the baseline through defenders, made the layup, and was fouled on the way to the basket. Marlow sank the free throw and the Raiders led the Highlanders, 15-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The crowd got rowdy and the game got physical in the second quarter.

“The kids were motivated,” Murphy said. “That crowd keeps the kids’ attention a lot more than a regular practice, but it was very physical. They played very physical, they rebounded the ball really well and we knew that and we didn’t do a great job on the boards so we have to clean that up.”

La Habra (12-8, 1-3) tried to fight back but Sonora wasn’t backing down. The Highlanders trailed the Raiders, 28-14, going into halftime.

Sonora came out fighting in the third quarter, forcing turnovers out of the Highlanders and making it hard for them to score.

Josh Rodriguez stole the ball early in the third quarter and passed it to Steven Murphy under the basket for a layup.

La Habra's Alex Evanoff attempts a baseline layup against Sonora's Steven Murphy during the first half of Sonora's 57-35 win, Friday night at home.
La Habra’s Alex Evanoff attempts a baseline layup against Sonora’s Steven Murphy during the first half of Sonora’s 57-35 win, Friday night at home.

“We have to share the ball,” Murphy said. “We didn’t share the ball. We would make one pass and shoot it real quick and we didn’t have any assists in that first half and we came out in the third quarter and really moved the ball well. When we move the ball we’re pretty good.”

The players became more aggressive as the game went on and David Desatoff received a technical foul with a few minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Raiders led the Highlanders, 49-22, going into the fourth quarter.

The Highlanders continued to play hard until the end, but Sonora stayed strong on defense and didn’t give up its lead.

David Desatoff was the leading scorer for La Habra with 12 points. Josh Rodriguez led Sonora in scoring with 13 points and Ben Rico trailed with 12 points.

Sonora’s next game is against Sunny Hills on Wednesday at Sunny Hills High School.

“Our next game is Sunny Hills and I’m sure they won tonight,” Murphy said. “So that’s going to be a war. We had two unbelievable games with them last year and now I’m sure they’re going to be the same this year.”

La Habra’s next game is against Buena Park on Wednesday at home.

La Habra's Lizette Martinez dribbles the basketball during the second half of La Habra's come-from-behind 39-36 win, Friday night at Sonora. Martinez tied the game with a jump shot late in the fourth quarter.
La Habra’s Lizette Martinez dribbles the basketball during the second half of La Habra’s come-from-behind 39-36 win, Friday night at Sonora. Martinez tied the game with a jump shot late in the fourth quarter.

GIRLS VARSITY

The La Habra girls’ basketball team beat Sonora in the final seconds of the rivalry game, 39-36, on Friday at Sonora High School.

The Highlanders (10-9, 3-1) were down by two with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter when Lizette Martinez drove the ball through defenders and sank a jump shot to tie the game, 36-36.

Sonora (9-10, 2-2) fought back but fouled Amanda Cuervo with 30 seconds remaining, sending her to the free throw line.

Cuervo made both of her free throws, which allowed La Habra to take the lead for the first time in the game, 38-36.

The Raiders attempted to regain the lead but fouled Megan Chancellor with less than 12 seconds remaining. Chancellor made one of two free throws and the Highlanders regained possession of the ball to end the game.

“I thought that the refs were calling it a little tight and that doesn’t necessarily play into our favor because we are very aggressive defensively,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “We got ourselves into foul trouble and that really hurt us down the stretch but we have to be smarter now and we have to be able to adjust. We have to learn to be smarter and grow from that.”

Sonora played solid on defense and dominated the first quarter, making it hard for La Habra to make shots.  The Raiders led 12-5 going into the second quarter.

“We prepared a lot defensively which I thought we did a really good job of in the first half and we did in some parts of the third but I think with the pressure of the game, we started breaking down mentally,” Barajas said.

Sonora's Meghann Henderson makes a layup during the first half of Sonora's 39-36 loss against La Habra, Friday night at home.
Sonora’s Meghann Henderson makes a layup during the first half of Sonora’s 39-36 loss against La Habra, Friday night at home.

The Raiders continued their fight, forcing turnovers out of La Habra. Angela Rodriquez stole the ball early in the second quarter, drove the ball down the court, and passed it to Meghann Henderson under the basket for a layup.

Sonora continued to lead the Highlanders, 22-14, going into halftime.

“I told them ‘you’re a good team, you have to stop looking at the gym and how it’s being played in there, the turnovers, and just work as a team,’” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach.

La Habra came back with a vengeance in the third quarter and held Sonora to only 6 points. The Highlanders trailed, 28-25, going into the final quarter.

Meghann Henderson was the leading scorer for Sonora with 18 points. Emma Zener led La Habra in scoring with 11 points and Cuervo followed with 10 points.

La Habra’s next game will be against Buena Park at home on Wednesday.

“We’re going to breathe for about a day or two,” Bohn said. “We have Buena Park on Wednesday and we have to be ready. We’ll get back in the gym tomorrow and watch some tape and then we’ll start practicing on Monday.”

Sonora’s next game will be against Sunny Hills on Wednesday at Sunny Hills High School.

“Sunny Hills is going to be tough,” Barajas said. “It’s at Sunny Hills, which is another hostile environment so we just have to keep working on these things like how to handle a close game and just get back into the gym and keep working on it.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.