Lady Raiders halt Santa Margarita late

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora girls basketball team grabbed its first lead on the opening possession of the fourth quarter, then held Santa

Sonora’s Elizabeth Yoshitake drives past a Santa Margarita defender Saturday at Mater Dei High School.

Margarita without a field goal the rest of the way to down the Eagles 32-29 Saturday afternoon in the Matt Denning Hoops Classic at Mater Dei High School.


The Raiders (10-5) trailed nearly the entire game and entered the fourth still down a point 28-27. Elizabeth Yoshitake drained a 3-pointer to begin the fourth and Sonora never relinquished the lead again.

Sonora held a 32-29 lead with :22 remaining and possession of the basketball. The Eagles last-ditch effort to force Sonora to the free throw line took a little too long because they still had five fouls to give. With :03 to play, junior Lainie James actually missed the free throw, but the Eagles half-court shot fell well short.

The Eagles missed on 11 consecutive field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, largely due to the Raiders defensive pressure late in the game. Their lone score in the fourth quarter came on a Jessica Fracker free-throw.

Sonora Head Coach Melissa Barajas attributed the hard fought victory to her team playing top notch competition all season.

“Our kids are battle tested,” Barajas said. “Things weren’t necessarily going our way on offense, but we stuck with it, we were battling on defense, battling on the boards and that is something we were not as strong with early in the year.”

Yoshitake lead all scorers with 12 points. Meghann Henderson finished right behind with 11 for Sonora.

Tori Anderson lead the Eagles with 11 points.

The Matt Denning Hoops Classic was the Raiders’  final tuneup before Freeway League play begins. Sonora will host Buena Park (9-4) on Tuesday night, then head to La Habra (11-4) to take on the Lady Highlanders on Friday.

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