Sports

Strong second half leads to Raiders win, Lady Raiders’ struggles continue

Christian Rhodes {shown against Sunny Hills) started in place of Steven Murphy and tallied seven points, five assists and five rebounds in a 62-49 win at Fullerton, Wednesday night.
Christian Rhodes (shown against Sunny Hills) started in place of Steven Murphy and tallied seven points, five assists and five rebounds in a 62-49 win at Fullerton, Wednesday night.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys’ basketball team overcame some key injuries to improve to 7-0 in Freeway League play, with a 62-49 victory over Fullerton High, Wednesday, at Fullerton High.

The Raiders (21-3, 7-0) headed into the game with both of their true big men hurt. Steven Murphy was out with the flu and Steven Riley missed another game and is likely out for the season with a shoulder injury.

With the two guys out, Sonora needed a group of guys to step up and they got just that.

“I thought Roy Saucedo did an amazing job tonight,” said Mike Murphy, Sonora head coach. “They had a couple good bigs over there and he did his job. Ben [Rico] also played really big for us today and I thought that he played the best defense I have ever seen him play in the second half.”

Rico led the team in rebounds, with six. Saucedo and Christian Rhodes both had five, while senior Nathan Mendrin had four rebounds.

Rhodes, who got the start in place of Murphy, had seven points, five rebounds and five assists.

The scoring was also really balanced for the Raiders. Despite a poor first half in which he only had four points, Rico bounced back and finished the game with 16 points.

Josh Rodriguez had 15 points. He did not have his best shooting night, but had a success whenever he tried to get to the rim.

Senior Adam Marlow also had 15 points, and he was the one who managed to score consistently throughout the entire game. The team got off to a slow start early but Marlow had seven points in the first quarter and carried the team for the majority of the first half. He also added seven assists.

“I just went out there and took what the defense gave me,” Marlow said. “We had two of our better players out tonight so we knew that we all kind of needed to step up.”

Fullerton (7-17, 1-6) did see a majority of their success come from down low. Their two big men Gerrit Beetstra and Dave Tsuda combined for 25 of the team’s 49 points.

“They were good down low, and I came out slow on defense in the first half. In the second I really made defense a priority,” Rico said. “On the offensive side we struggled with shooting, but we moved the ball well and found other ways to get it done.”

The Raiders will look to improve to 8-0 in league as they take on Buena Park, Friday, at home.

“I like our chances at this point being up two games with three to go,” Murphy said. “We still can’t look over any teams though and we are going to keep trying to improve every day.”

Lauren Nakahara hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead a late comeback attempt by Sonora in an eventual 55-45 loss at Fullerton, Wednesday night.
Lauren Nakahara hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead a late comeback attempt by Sonora in an eventual 55-45 loss at Fullerton, Wednesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

The Sonora girl’s basketball dropped a tough game to Fullerton, 55-45, Wednesday at Fullerton High.

The Lady Raiders never were able to get going on either side of the ball. Luckily for Sonora, Fullerton was also unable to really get going in the first quarter and the Lady Raiders led 8-6 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Lady Raiders began to give the game to Fullerton. Both teams struggled from the field, but Sonora also fell into foul trouble. Of the 14 points the Lady Indians scored in the quarter, only two came on a field goal.

Fullerton capitalized on all the fouls and was able to go 12-for-16 from the free-throw line to take a 20-17 lead into the half.

The third quarter was Sonora’s strongest and Meghann Henderson began to try to get Sonora back in the game. After being held scoreless for the first half, she scored 11 points in the second half.

It was not enough though as Fullerton (10-13, 3-4) began to get open shots and outscore Sonora 18-12 in the quarter and expand the lead to 38-29.

In the fourth, Sonora (9-13, 2-5) fought back but was not able to pull it off. Lauren Nakahara tried her hardest to bring Sonora back into the game by making three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone.

Fullerton’s Lala Newman was able to convert on free throws when Sonora tried to foul late and finished with a game-high 18 points.

The Raiders will look to try to stay alive and improve to 3-5 in the Freeway League as they host Buena Park, Friday at 6 p.m.

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