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Adam Marlow’s behind-the-scenes type of work a leading factor in successful year for Raiders

Posted on 20 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Adam Marlow was regarded as the team's best defender and often sacrificed his offensive game to focus on defending opposing players that were often much taller than him.

Sonora’s Adam Marlow was regarded as the team’s best defender and often sacrificed his offensive game to focus on defending opposing players that were often much taller than him.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

For the Sonora boys’ basketball team, senior Adam Marlow knows that being a team leader is more than just barking orders and giving inspiring team speeches.

In a historic season that saw the Raiders make a CIF Championship appearance for the first time since 1984, the senior didn’t just do everything the team needed from him, he anticipated those needs and put himself in position to help his team succeed.

Though Adam’s contributions won’t be seen on a stat sheet, without them, the Raiders wouldn’t have enjoyed the amount of success they earned this season.

“[He has] unbelievable leadership skills, that’s the first thing,” said Mike Murphy, Sonora head coach. “To be a great point guard and a great leader is an added bonus and he’s been that way since he first walked on our campus. This year, he’s really the heart and soul of our team, you read about Josh and you read about Ben and they’re scoring all the points, but the guy that stirs the drink and keeps the team together. I’ve been coaching for 29 years and I can’t think of five other guys that I’ve enjoyed coaching more than him.”

Adam has been a varsity starter since his sophomore year and in each season since, the Raiders have seen an improvement in their overall record while still facing the same tough competition.

While his sophomore year was about pushing himself to becoming a mainstay in the starting lineup, it was during his junior season that he recognized the need for a leadership presence.

“We didn’t really have a captain, no one really stepped up to be a leader, so I thought if I could have played that role a little better, our season would have been different,” he said.

During that same timeframe, Adam developed into the Raiders best defensive player and was constantly given the task of trying to shut down the oppositions’ best players.

Realizing that role, Adam often sacrificed his offensive scoring ability to focus on his defense as well as to help set up his teammates on the offensive side.

“He brings a lot of intangibles,” Murphy said. “It’s a specific skill set that you have to have and he’s our best athlete, fastest, strongest and quickest from side to side and that makes him our best defender. We’d find the best guy on the other team and assign him to Adam.”

To take it a step further, Adam would approach his head coach with suggestions on defensive strategy that often involved him switching to the opposing player that was causing the most damage at that particular point of the game.

Some of these situations involved the 6-foot senior guarding a 6-foot-8 forward. Such was the case when the Raiders went up to Santa Maria, where Adam attempted to limit Cameron Walker, the Warriors’ 6-foot-8 forward.

Adam attributes his defensive abilities to his commitment to getting stronger in the weight room, something he started after he was called up to varsity during his freshman season.

“When I got moved up, I got a chance to practice with guys like Raffi [Chalian], Tyler [Thomas], they were grown men,” Adam said “I had close to the same skill set as them, but I wasn’t nearly the athlete that they were and that’s when I realized that if I put in time in the weight room, it could help me a lot more than working on my skills every day.”

When it comes to his leadership and competitiveness, Adam’s long-lasting friendship with Whittier Christian senior Ryan Esslinger, who played football and basketball, may have a lot to do with it.

“Growing up with him, he’s just as competitive as me. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as competitive as me, except for him,” Adam said. “Seeing him on the football team this year as the starting quarterback, he’s just a stud, I was so proud of him, but it also made me want to be like him and do what he did on the football field while I was on the basketball court. It was still a competition thing, but we really push each other to be the best that we can be.”

When the team absolutely needed points late in ball games, Adam had the ability to hit clutch shots as well.

In the Raiders’ first game against Sunny Hills in Freeway League play, Adam drove inside for two tough layups late in the fourth quarter to break a tie game and give Sonora enough separation to win the ball game and take sole possession of the Freeway League lead, which the Raiders held for the rest of the season.

In other situations, he made the extra pass to junior teammates Ben Rico, Josh Rodriguez and Steven Murphy who often hit open shots as a result.

“Only the people in the program really know the value that he added to our team. He’s very poised and whatever we needed, he supplied,” Murphy said. “One of the biggest struggles we had was moving the ball quickly, but the guy who sacrificed his offensive game to help make that extra pass was Adam. Ben Rico broke the scoring record this year and that had a lot to do with it.”

But even more than his contributions on the court, Adam was an example off the court, often demonstrating certain gameplans for teammates and using his work ethic as a way to motivate his teammates.

When it came to leading a group of talented players, including four junior starters by season’s end, Adam admitted that it wasn’t always easy.

However, he also said he wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.

“I’ll never forget this year, that’s for sure,” he said. “This was my team and it was something that you never want to end and at times it felt like it was never-ending, I’ll never forget these guys.”

While Adam hasn’t committed to a school at the next level yet, he said that Chapman University, Vanguard University and Cal State Los Angeles have all expressed interest.

Along with his leadership abilities, his abilities on the court and his commitment to improvement off the court, Adam also boasts a stellar performance in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

During his senior year, he enjoys taking AP Calculus as he’s always liked Mathematics. He also enjoys Psychology.

Adam looks up to his parents as role models for their constant support and always being willing to take time out of their day to drive him to workouts and practices.

In terms of his sport, it came as no surprise that Adam said he looked up to his head coach, Mike Murphy.

“I always look up to him, he got me to work harder than anyone else in my life,” Adam said. “When I got here I was pretty lazy, but the way he gets people to work hard, he just inspires us.”

When he’s not in the classroom or on the court, Adam enjoys playing video games with friends and also has picked up surfing as a steady hobby in the summer.

But while he has a couple months left as a high school senior, Adam’s goal is to maintain his grades and prepare for an opportunity to play basketball at the next level.

“We’d love for the community to come out and see Adam, he’s a great example of what it is to be a Raider, if you come to this program, this is how you turn out,” Murphy said. “I’m hoping that the colleges in the area will see that he’s a kid they need in their program. He just needs an opportunity and if he gets that opportunity, he’ll make the most of it.”

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Raiders run cold late, fall in Division 2A Championship game

Posted on 08 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Adam Marlow works with the ball in the backcourt against Calabasas guard Larry Bush during the second half of Sonora's  66-47 loss to Calabasas at Honda Center, Saturday afternoon.

Sonora’s Adam Marlow works with the ball in the backcourt against Calabasas guard Larry Bush during the second half of Sonora’s 66-47 loss to Calabasas at Honda Center, Saturday afternoon. Photos by Alex Avina, La Habra Journal

Scroll down to view more photos from this game.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

ANAHEIM – Undersized in comparison to its opponent, the Sonora boys’ basketball team fought hard, but went cold from the floor late in falling to Calabasas 66-47 in the CIF-SS Division 2A Championship game, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

The Raiders hung tough through three quarters and shrunk their deficit to 44-41 early in the fourth quarter, but missed their next 14 shots and the Coyotes pulled away using their size inside on the other end.

“Against their size, it was really hard to get good shots,” said Ben Rico, who scored 12 points. “They played tough defense, it was definitely a factor today.”

Calabasas center Austin Smith scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while guard Conner Longmire scored 17 points and made two layups in the fourth quarter to counteract Sonora’s early-quarter comeback attempt.

The Coyotes (27-5) closed out the game with free throws, denying Sonora its first title in 30 years.

“We hadn’t seen them live, they’re more athletic than I thought,” Murphy said. “They’re extremely physical, really well coached, they’re probably the toughest team we faced this year.”

After falling behind early, Sonora (28-4) used the second and third quarters to march back.

In the third quarter, Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders and scored their first seven points of the quarter.

However, each time Sonora pulled close, Calabasas broke loose again. Smith scored seven points in the third quarter and Larry Bush added six of his 12 points as the Coyotes took a 42-35 lead into the fourth quarter. Bush also contributed with seven rebounds.

Sonora's Steven Murphy defends against Calabasas guard Conner Longmire during the second half of Sonora's 66-47 loss against Calabasas, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

Sonora’s Steven Murphy defends against Calabasas guard Conner Longmire during the second half of Sonora’s 66-47 loss against Calabasas, Saturday afternoon at Honda Center.

Rico began the fourth quarter with a pair of tough jump shots and a pair of free throws to pull Sonora within three points, but that was the closest Sonora would get.

“We just couldn’t score,” Murphy said of the drought. “When you can’t score, you try to extend the defense and create some baskets with our defense. Their guards are really good and they made us foul them at the end.”

In the first quarter, the combination of size and quickness helped Calabasas take an early lead.

While Justin Bessard battled inside for six points, Longmire hit a 3-pointer and completed another three-point play as the Coyotes led 20-12 after the first quarter.

“I thought our team did a tremendous job in this game,” said Jon Palarz, Calabasas head coach. “Our whole team did great in preparation and we played really well on defense, I couldn’t ask for anything more from our guys. Sonora’s a fantastic team and I feel very fortunate to [come away with the win].”

The Raiders quickly erased most of that deficit to start the second quarter, using Steven Murphy for tough baskets inside, the junior scored twice and was fouled on both plays, but made only one of his two free throws.

Halfway through the second quarter, a basket by Rodriguez shrunk the deficit to 24-22. Both defenses took over, altering shots as both teams struggled from the floor.

“I thought we were hurting them early with our drive-and-kick offense, we got some good looks,” Murphy said. “I thought Josh and Adam [Marlow] were able to get to the basket, but we couldn’t finish. We had a tough time finishing.”

A late basket by center Austin Smith gave Calabasas a 26-22 lead at halftime.

Rodriguez led Sonora with 14 points and five assists, while Rico added 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the Raiders shot 16-of-56 from the floor and 4-of-22 on 3-pointers.

Steven Murphy finished with seven points, while Marlow added five points.

Calabasas earned its second title in the last three years. The Coyotes won the CIF-SS 3AA Championship in 2012.

Despite the loss, the Raiders still qualified for the Division 2 South Regional playoffs with the No. 8 seed. Sonora will host Monache High of Porterville, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Sonora High.

“We’re just ecstatic about getting a chance to play in State, we’ve never been to the State playoffs,” Murphy said. “We definitely didn’t want to end after this game, so we’ll see where we’re at in the bracket tomorrow and we’ll practice on Monday.”

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Sonora goes the distance, gets past Righetti in second round

Posted on 26 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Ben Rico (pictured against Troy) scored 20 points and secured 11 rebounds in the Raiders' 67-48 road victory at Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Tuesday night.

Ben Rico (pictured against Troy) scored 20 points and secured 11 rebounds in the Raiders’ 67-48 road victory at Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Tuesday night.

SANTA MARIA – Not even a 180-mile one way trip could slow down the top-seeded Sonora boys’ basketball team in a 67-48 victory over Righetti in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs.

Despite being on the road for over three hours before the game, the Raiders sprinted out to an early lead and held it throughout to move on to the quarterfinal round, which surpasses the team’s finish from a season ago.

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with 22 points and seven assists, while Ben Rico posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Adam Marlow also scored in double digits with 13 points and Christian Rhodes supplied support with five assists and five steals.

Sonora (26-3) started strong, scoring 21 points in the first quarter, which led to a 32-24 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Raiders gained separation by outscoring the Warriors 16-7.

Righetti (16-11) was led by junior forward Cameron Walker’s 19 points.

The Raiders will play a second consecutive road contest on Friday when they battle Arlington of Riverside in the quarterinals, Friday at 7 p.m.

The Lions defeated Redlands East Valley in the second round, 71-70.

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Sonora completes first undefeated league season since 2001, Lady Raiders force one-game playoff

Posted on 14 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with26 points as Sonora defeated Sunny Hills 83-73, Thursday night at Sonora.

Josh Rodriguez led the Raiders with26 points as Sonora defeated Sunny Hills 83-73, Thursday night at Sonora.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys basketball team finished off their undefeated run through the Freeway League with an 83-73 victory over Sunny Hills, Friday, at Sonora.  They are the first team to go undefeated in Freeway League play since 2001.

“This is a special team,” said senior Roy Saucedo. “We came into the year and this was our goal. To be able to do it shows a lot about our team.”

Josh Rodriguez led the offensive attack for Sonora. Rodriguez had 26 points and also added nine rebounds and three assists. Of the 26 points, 12 came in the second quarter alone.

“My shots started falling and I felt like I could make anything,” Rodriguez said. “I can’t even describe how we feel right now.”

Besides Rodriguez, four other Raiders scored in double figures.

Adam Marlow had 15 points. Ben Rico had 13 points. Steven Murphy had 11 and Christian Rhodes had 10.

Rico was held scoreless until he got a steal and nailed a buzzer-beating three-point shot from well beyond the arc at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Rico erupted for 10 points and began to attack the basket more.

“Ben was huge for us tonight,” head coach Mike Murphy said. “He made that three and got the confidence back. He did a really good job adjusting his game.”

Along with the balanced effort in points, the Raiders also had four guys with at least nine rebounds. Rico led the team with 10, and picked up his second consecutive double double.  Murphy, Rodriguez and Saucedo had nine each.

Sonora did not start the senior Saucedo and elected to go with Christian Rhodes due to his 10-point performance against the Lancers earlier this season. As soon as Saucedo came in he took over the game with some big rebounds.

“We didn’t start Roy today and it seemed like he played that much harder,” Mike Murphy said. “He is an energy guy for sure and he came in and just played harder than anybody else on the court. His rebounds late were huge and he got us some extra possessions to help run some clock off.”

Now that the regular season is over, the Raiders will turn their attention to the CIF playoffs. They are going in as one of the favorites in Division 2A and look to make a deep run.

“We are through the roof right now after finishing undefeated,” Marlow said. “But, we need to get back at it and play some basketball. We can’t let it get to out heads.”

Mike Murphy is in his 29th year as a high school head coach and knows that this team may be one of his best chances for an elusive CIF championship.

“I am 0-29 in CIF,” Mike Murphy said. “This is a special team. This team has as good of a chance as any team I have had in a long time.”

GIRLS VARSITY

The Sonora girls’ basketball team finished its 2014 campaign on a strong note with a 59-45 victory over visiting Sunny Hills, Thursday night.

Meghann Henderson led a Lady Raiders’ charge with 17 points, while Lauren Nakahara scored 13 points and Marissa Dunn added 12 points.

Sonora got off to a quick start and held a 38-24 lead at halftime.

After a slow third quarter, the Lady Raiders outscored the Lady Lancers 16-9 in the final quarter to take the win.

The win by Sonora created a three-way tie for third place in the Freeway League.

The Lady Raiders will face Sunny Hills again, Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Sonora High.

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Sonora boys hoops clinch outright league title, Lady Highlanders add history to rivalry

Posted on 12 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Josh Rodriguez attempts a layup while La Habra's Adam Cooley attempts to block during the first half of Sonora's league title-clinching 58-41 win at La Habra, Tuesday night.

Sonora’s Josh Rodriguez attempts a layup while La Habra’s Adam Cooley attempts to block during the first half of Sonora’s league title-clinching 58-41 win at La Habra, Tuesday night. Photos by Erik Markus, La Habra Journal

by Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys’ basketball team beat La Habra, 58-41, and clinched the Freeway League title in the rivalry game at La Habra High School on Tuesday.

Despite the win, Sonora Head Coach Mike Murphy wasn’t pleased with his team’s preparation for the game as evidenced by a tie ballgame at halftime.

“Not very well, obviously,” Murphy said on how the team prepared for the rivalry. “We thought we did, but they definitely outcoached us. Their team was more prepared than us, especially at the beginning of the game. We had a really hard time against that zone and we really never did figure it out.”

La Habra (15-10, 4-5) started the game on top with two consecutive 3-pointers by Justin Jaimez and David Desatoff followed with a layup by Alex Evanoff.

Sonora (23-3, 9-0) fought back by scoring eight points to tie the game with a little over two minutes left in the quarter.

Michael Banks gave the lead back to La Habra with a three-pointer, but Sonora responded with a layup made by Josh Rodriguez.

Desatoff was fouled and made both free throws, but Ben Rico came back with a layup for the Raiders and was fouled on the drive. Rico made the free throw to complete the three-point play.

Banks sank a jump shot at the end of the quarter, giving La Habra the lead, 15-13, going into the second quarter.

Adam Marlow was fouled at the beginning of the second quarter and made both free throws to tie the game, 15-15.

Jaimez responded with a driving layup to give La Habra the lead, but Sonora’s Steven Murphy was fouled shortly after and made both free throws to tie the game, 17-17.

The Highlanders countered with a layup made by Jaimez and a three-pointer by Josh Garcia. Desatoff was fouled with a little over two minutes left in the half, but the fire alarm went off as he was approaching the free throw line.

School officials confirmed that there wasn’t a fire as La Habra’s student section, referred to as the “6th Man Clan,” chanted, “We’re too hot.” Desatoff made one of two free throws, giving La Habra the lead 23-17.

La Habra's David Desatoff draws a foul against Sonora's Adam Marlow during the second half of the Raiders' 58-41 win at La Habra, Tuesday night.

La Habra’s David Desatoff draws a foul against Sonora’s Adam Marlow during the second half of the Raiders’ 58-41 win at La Habra, Tuesday night.

Sonora came back at the end of the quarter and tied the game, 27-27, going into halftime.

“We went over what we could do against their zone to try to get some shots,” Murphy said. “We’ve really been struggling. We can’t make any shots and it’s been frustrating because we’ve had good looks, so hopefully we can shake out of that slump before the playoffs.”

Sonora started the second half with a shot made by Rodriguez, but La Habra’s Zach Gray responded with a baseline drive for a layup.

The Raiders scored six consecutive points, four by Rodriguez and two from Rico. La Habra returned with a long three-pointer made by David Desatoff, cutting Sonora’s lead to 36-32.

Sonora pushed the ball on offense and scored 11 consecutive points at the end of the quarter. Sonora led, 47-35, going into the final half.

The Raiders started the fourth quarter with two baskets made by Marlow and a reverse layup by Roy Saucedo. Adam Cooley responded with a layup, but Sonora continued to lead, 53-37.

The Highlanders fought hard to try to regain the lead but the Raiders’ defense stayed strong, allowing them to clinch the win and the league title.

“Defensively we have to give them credit because they made good shots,” said David Ploog, La Habra head coach. “They made eight in a row to start the third quarter, made some big threes, but we didn’t come out with the energy we needed in the third quarter. They got a couple of offensive rebounds and put-backs and that hurt us. We were a little flat defensively in the third quarter.”

Rico led Sonora in scoring with 18 points.

The Highlanders will finish fourth in the Freeway League this season, after Troy’s win over Sunny Hills forced a tie between the two for second place. Both teams sit two games ahead of the Highlanders with one game remaining.

La Habra’s next game will be against Buena Park on Thursday at Buena Park High School.

“They’re really physical, so we have to be sure to play them real tough and meet their physicality at their place,” Ploog said. “They always play well at Buena Park. We have to come out and really have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for their physical play and work on our defense and our offensive plays to get ready for that.”

Sonora’s next game will be again Sunny Hills at home on Thursday.

“The next game is Sunny Hills so it’s a tough prep there,” Murphy said. “They’re so fast and they’re so quick. We’re just going to get together tomorrow at practice and get ready for Sunny Hills.”

Sonora's Meghann Henderson attempts a shot while La Habra's Megan Chancellor defends during the fourth quarter of La Habra's 48-45 win at home, Tuesday night.

Sonora’s Meghann Henderson attempts a shot while La Habra’s Megan Chancellor defends during the fourth quarter of La Habra’s 48-45 win at home, Tuesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

History was made as the La Habra girls’ basketball team beat Sonora, 48-45, on Tuesday night at La Habra High School. The Lady Highlanders swept the Lady Raiders for the first time since 1997.

La Habra (14-10, 7-2) got off to a rough start in the first quarter, allowing Sonora to score the first four points of the game.

Megan Chancellor scored the first two points for La Habra, but Meghann Henderson responded with two consecutive steals for layups, giving Sonora (10-14, 3-6) the lead, 8-2.

Late in the first quarter Lizette Martinez sank a baseline jump shot, but was pushed out of bounds and fouled. Martinez made the free throw to complete the three-point play. However, Sonora led, 17-7, going into the second quarter.

Ashleigh Bessler stepped up defensively for La Habra and had two big blocks within seconds of each other, allowing the Lady Highlanders to regain possession of the ball.

“I’m glad they didn’t call them fouls,” said Ashleigh Bessler. “They usually do because I’m so much bigger so they usually call them fouls every time. They game was aggressive, but it made me want to play harder because I was getting angry.”

La Habra pushed the ball on offense and scored on three consecutive possessions. With a little over three minutes left in the half, Martinez faked out her defender and sank a jump shot. La Habra trailed Sonora 17-15.

The Lady Raiders responded with a layup and three-pointer, both made by Henderson.

Still trailing Sonora, Emma Zener sank a three-pointer with a little over a minute left in the quarter, giving the Lady Highlanders the momentum they needed to fight back on offense.

Martinez followed with a layup, assisted by Kaili Peko and Larissa Maehara ended the quarter with a three-pointer, giving La Habra the lead 24-23 going into halftime.

“I wanted to let them know that the first three minutes of this next quarter are the most important,” said Jim Bohn, La Habra head coach. “You have to own that and I thought we did that well. At the end we looked like a young team, turning it over and playing right into their game and I give them credit. Sonora stuck in there and they played hard.”

Henderson was the first to score in the third quarter, giving Sonora the lead.

The game got physical and the crowd got rowdy towards the end of the quarter as both teams battled for the lead.

La Habra played hard on offense and Amanda Cuervo drove through defenders for a layup with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter, giving The Lady Highlanders the lead, 34-25.

The intensity increased as the game got aggressive and Sonora’s head coach, Melissa Barajas, was given a double technical and kicked out of the game after walking on the court to talk to the referee following a called foul.

Zener made three of the four technical free throws for La Habra. The Lady Highlanders continued their lead, 38-28, going into the final quarter.

Chancellor started the fourth quarter with a layup assisted by Bessler and Maehara followed by sinking a jump shot, which advanced the score to 42-28.

But Barajas’ ejection served to fire up the Lady Raiders, as Sonora fought back on offense and scored eight points in a row at the end of the quarter.

Martinez came back with a layup under the basket, but Sonora responded with two free throws by Henderson and a layup by Lauren Nakahara. The Lady Raiders trailed, 45-42, with less than a minute left in the game.

Sonora fought to try to regain the lead at the end of the quarter, but the Lady Highlanders’ defense stayed strong as the time expired on the clock.

Zener led La Habra in scoring with 14 points and Martinez followed with 13 points. Henderson led Sonora in scoring with 21 points.

La Habra’s next game will be against Buena Park on Thursday at Buena Park High School.

“We have to get in the gym tomorrow and try to get our feet back on the ground,” Bohn said. “It’s important, we want to finish out league, 8-2, and Buena Park is not going to just give it to us. We have to go over there and compete. I want to make sure they’re grounded, that way we get ourselves into the playoff mode next week.”

Sonora, which swept La Habra last season, will host Sunny Hills in its season finale, Thursday night.

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Raiders wrap up league title despite lengthy shooting slump

Posted on 12 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Junior Ben Rico has led the Raiders in scoring all season and led the team with 16 points in its league title clinching win over La Habra, Tuesday night.

Junior Ben Rico has led the Raiders in scoring all season and led the team with 16 points in its league title-clinching win over La Habra, Tuesday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

When the Sonora boys’ basketball team escaped Buena Park with a four-point victory back on Jan. 22, Head Coach Mike Murphy was disappointed with his team’s effort.

The Raiders came out flat, did not shoot well and allowed plenty of offensive rebounds to the Coyotes.

Since then, the Raiders, who are 23-3 overall, still haven’t regained a shooter’s touch that was on display during the preseason, but the result of that game taught the team a lesson that it would carry into a Freeway League championship, which the team secured outright with a 58-41 win at La Habra, Tuesday night.

The Freeway League title is Sonora’s 12th championship in Mike Murphy’s 24-year tenure with the program.

“We’re really resilient and a lot of us have returned from last year, so we have a lot of experience,” said Adam Marlow, senior captain. “We haven’t shot well since that game and earlier in the year, we would rely on the outscoring opponents, but if we’re not making shots, we have to find another way to win and that started against Buena Park. We’ve just been finding ways to win.”

During the course of the season, the Raiders have benefitted from consistency with its starters.

Juniors Ben Rico and Josh Rodriguez provide big scoring, Steven Murphy is the big body down low and Marlow shuts down the opposition’s best player with his defense, while providing big baskets in the fourth quarter, along with Rico, during close games.

Second half adjustments have been a factor as well, which allowed the Raiders to wrap up the league title a game early this season.

“It’s a huge weight off our shoulders,” said Ben Rico, Sonora’s leading scorer. “We’re No. 3 in the county and we earned that spot, we don’t think anyone is better than us. We’re going out there with confidence and we go out ready to play, it motivates us.”

However, some of those traits have shifted over the past few weeks to accommodate for Sonora’s shooting slump.

One of the biggest shifts has been the additional use of Steven Murphy as an offensive weapon.

In two of the Raiders’ last four games, Murphy has led the team in scoring with 22 and 19 point efforts. The junior center sat out one of those games with the flu.

In addition, Sonora has received increased contributions from its bench, most notably from guards Christian Rhodes, Jason McClung and Nathan Mendrin.

Rhodes scored 10 points off the bench in the team’s two-point win at Sunny Hills earlier this year. Mendrin has helped recently with his rebounding.

“They’ve been huge, any high school team needs a bench and ours is so good in its preparation,” Mike Murphy said. “Christian has been our sixth man all year, Jason is one of the best athletes on our team. He’s going to really help us next year. Nathan is the same way, he’s helped us immensely down the stretch and we can put him anywhere. They’re all really bright kids.”

Coach Murphy added that his bench players have memorized the offensive tendencies of all league opponents and that their use of those tendencies in practice have greatly helped the starters for upcoming games.

But the biggest factor has been Sonora’s experience, which was one of the reasons the team was projected to contend for the Freeway League title this season.

Because of that experience and the bench players’ readiness to step in and contribute, the team that has shown itself to be so potent on offense has earned that Freeway League title in the midst of a cold streak.

“People don’t give this league enough credit. Buena Park is 0-8 and they’ve played us tough twice,” Mike Murphy said. “We’ve just been in this horrible shooting slump for six or seven games now. Every game that’s been close, they’ve just found a way to win it.”

The Raiders also earned the title with one game to spare, which means no added pressure for Sonora when it matches up with Sunny Hills at home, Thursday night.

But what makes the feat even sweeter for Sonora’s players was celebrating on its main rival’s home floor.

“It definitely means a little more winning it here at La Habra,” Rico said. “The atmosphere is great, the fans are great, I just love it.”

Sonora is currently on a 12-game win streak and hasn’t lost since Dec. 28, a tournament loss to Parker High of San Diego.

But even with the team’s current success, both Mike Murphy and the team believe that it hasn’t come close to peaking yet this season.

“We’ll still be motivated to play Sunny Hills, they’re a very good team,” Murphy said. “We’re not playing our best basketball, we can play much better basketball and I’m hoping that before it’s all over, we can play like we’re capable of playing.”

The Raiders finish up the regular season at home on Thursday before entering the playoffs as a possible No. 2 seed in Division 2A.

If their shooting touch returns, there’s the potential for a deep playoff run.

“We want to focus on defense first, we’re always working on defense,” Marlow said. “The rest will come together and we’re hoping it does soon because CIF [playoffs] are all that’s left, so hopefully those shots start falling.”

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Sonora one win away from league title after win, Lady Raiders throttle Buena Park

Posted on 08 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

Josh Rodriguez scored 22 points for the Raiders as they defeated Buena Park 77-64 at home, Friday night.

Josh Rodriguez scored 22 points for the Raiders as they defeated Buena Park 77-64 at home, Friday night.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora boys’ basketball team continued their undefeated league season with a 77-64 win over Buena Park, Friday at home.

It was senior night for Sonora so they started all seniors, but Buena Park jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and head coach Mike Murphy had seen enough. Even though it was Senior Night, it was the work of three juniors that helped lead Sonora to the win.

Forward Steven Murphy put up 23 points and 8 rebounds and Buena Park had no answer for him inside.

“My teammates found me [and] got me the ball in good spots,” Steven Murphy said. “I felt really good tonight, and the whole team played really well.”

Josh Rodriguez had 22 points including three 3-pointers. He also added three steals and five assists.

Ben Rico had 20 points including a 7-for-7 night from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Outside of the three juniors, only two other Raiders scored a combined 13 points. Adam Marlow had 10 of them, and fellow senior Nathan Mendrin scored three points.

“I knew it was senior night so I wanted us to go out and put on a show,” Marlow said. “I am glad that we came out with the win too and we are still undefeated in league.”

Buena Park (8-17, 0-8) was led by 20 points from Deven Boston. Junn Rodriguez added 16 points in the loss.

The Raiders (22-3, 8-0) will take on La Habra, Wednesday at La Habra. With two games to go, the Raiders have a two-game lead in the Freeway League. One more win would clinch the league championship.

“We have put ourselves in a good position,” Steven Murphy said. “We are taking it one game at a time and want to come out and play hard on both sides of the ball against La Habra.”

Even though Sonora can clinch with one win, they want to win both of them.

“We want to go 10-0 in league,” Marlow said. “We still have to play La Habra and Sunny Hills but it would be cool to win both of those. It hasn’t been done by Sonora in a long time and would really show how good this team is.”

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 16 points in a dominant 54-15 win over Buena Park at home, Friday night.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 16 points in a dominant 54-15 win over Buena Park at home, Friday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

The Sonora girls’ basketball team sent their seniors off with a much-needed win against Buena Park, 54-15, Friday, at home.

“We only have two seniors but it was important for me to give them their time,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “Lauren [Nakahara] is one of our starters and plays a lot but we got to get Leah Cole some playing time and it was great to see her make a basket.”

The Lady Raiders dominated from the opening whistle. They managed to jump out to a 21-1 in the first quarter.

Marissa Dunn scored seven points in the first quarter alone. She was 4-for-5 from the free-throw line and made a 3-pointer in the period.

“Our defense played really well tonight, but the offense was what I was most impressed with,” Barajas said. “We attacked their defense from the beginning and the girls really got the ball moving.”

Buena Park (4-15, 0-8) did not even make a field goal until there was under a minute left in the first half. At half time Sonora led 36-4. Angela Rodriguez had five points in the second quarter.

The second half was more of the same. Dunn added five points in the third quarter and brought her total to a game-high 16 points. Nakahara continued her hot shooting from the Fullerton game and knocked down two more 3-pointers. Sonora took a 52-8 lead into the final quarter.

Sonora (10-13, 3-5) had most of their starters out for the fourth quarter and only scored two points.

The Lady Raiders will take on La Habra at La Habra High Tuesday, at 6 p.m.

“We have two more tough games to go before the season ends,” Barajas said. “We want to come out and play hard on both of them and try to win them both.”

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

Posted on 06 February 2014 by La Habra Journal

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.

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Sonora holds off Sunny Hills on the road, Lady Raiders fall

Posted on 29 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Adam Marlow drives in for a layup while Sunny Hills' Elijah Kim attempts to block from behind during the first half of Sonora's 62-60 win at Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Adam Marlow drives in for a layup while Sunny Hills’ Elijah Kim attempts to block from behind during the first half of Sonora’s 62-60 win at Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

In his first two seasons as a starter on the varsity basketball team, Sonora senior guard Adam Marlow had not been able to celebrate a Raiders victory at Sunny Hills High.

On Wednesday night, with the score tied 56-56 and 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, the senior took matters into his own hands by driving the lane and dropping in two tough layups to lead to a 62-60 victory over the Lancers.

“This was huge, I’ve never won here, it feels pretty good,” Marlow said. “[Coach] Murphy told me to step up, be the senior on the team and make a big shot and see what I had inside. It was open, so I just took it and made it count.”

Marlow finished with 12 points, saving his two best shots until the team needed them in the fourth quarter.

Josh Rodriguez and Ben Rico led the Raiders with 17 points each and Christian Rhodes provided a huge boost off the bench with 10 points.

The trio combined to score 23 of Sonora’s 27 points in a second quarter that saw the Raiders turn a four-point deficit into a 42-30 halftime lead.

“Last year, they got up early on us and we couldn’t get it back, so this year we talked about that in practice,” Marlow said. “We knew they would make a run and that we would have to get it back. It shows how tough we are as a team and how much we’ve grown over the past year that we can take a punch like that and keep fighting.”

Sonora's Christian Rhodes drives the lane against Sunny Hills' Martin Kim during the first half of Sonora's 62-60 win. Rhodes provided 10 big points off the bench.

Sonora’s Christian Rhodes drives the lane against Sunny Hills’ Martin Kim during the first half of Sonora’s 62-60 win. Rhodes provided 10 big points off the bench.

The Raiders struggled against Sunny Hills’ aggressive defense in the second half, but Sonora’s zone defense also slowed down the Lancers’ fast-paced offense.

That was, until Max Thurman took over. The senior guard scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and single-handedly led the charge to tie the score late in the fourth quarter.

He also made four of the Lancers’ eight 3-pointers.

“They were tough, we practiced a lot for them and we were pretty ready,” Marlow said. “They’re quick and they shoot 3s, so you know what you’re going to get, but it’s still tough to stop.”

Added Murphy, “I’m glad there wasn’t another minute left in that fourth quarter, because they were charging.”

The Raiders (19-3, 5-0) had to overcome a lightning fast Sunny Hills start. The Lancers made their first seven shots of the game, taking a 15-5 lead and forcing Murphy to call two timeouts.

After the second timeout, the Raiders switched to the zone defense and the offense found its rhythm.

The Raiders took the lead immediately in the second quarter thanks to a 7-0 run. Rhodes and Rico each scored eight points in the quarter and Rico’s slick no-look pass to Steven Murphy for an easy layup increased Sonora’s lead to seven points with 2:15 remaining in the half.

Sonora's Josh Rodriguez works with the basketball against Sunny Hills' Elijah Kim during the first half of the Raiders' 62-60 win, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Josh Rodriguez works with the basketball against Sunny Hills’ Elijah Kim during the first half of the Raiders’ 62-60 win, Wednesday night.

While the Raiders were flowing, Sunny Hills (14-8, 4-1) went cold from the floor in the second quarter, making just 3-of-16 shots from the floor and only 1-of-9 3-pointers.

Murphy prevented any second chance opportunities by grabbing seven rebounds in the quarter. He finished with 10 rebounds and four points.

“I wish we could have given him the ball a little bit more tonight,” Murphy said. “We don’t win the game without Steven tonight.”

Rodriguez added seven points in the quarter and the Raiders pushed the lead to 42-30 at the break. Sonora outscored the Lancers 27-11 in the quarter.

Thurman scored nine points in the second quarter and made 4-of-6 free throws after he was fouled on two 3-point shots.

The Lancers’ Ryan Tan and Tim Ahn combined for three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Sunny Hills claw back before the wild finish.

Both teams came into the contest tied undefeated in the Freeway League. The Raiders will start the second round of league play on the road against Troy, Friday.

“This is the biggest win we’ve had all year,” Murphy said. “Now we get Troy on Friday with just one day of preparation, that’s going to be a difficult challenge.”

Sonora's Megan Matsumoto attempts a shot against Sunny Hills' Jennifer Vinh during the second half of the Lady Raiders' 46-34 loss, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Megan Matsumoto attempts a shot against Sunny Hills’ Jennifer Vinh during the second half of the Lady Raiders’ 46-34 loss, Wednesday night.

GIRLS VARSITY

With a chance to keep sole possession of third place in the Freeway League, the Sonora girls’ basketball team struggled to hit shots and grab rebounds in a 46-34 loss to Sunny Hills, Wednesday night at Sunny Hills High.

After fighting for an early lead, the Lady Raiders struggled against Sunny Hills’ quick defense in the second and fourth quarters.

Marissa Dunn led the Lady Raiders with 11 points and eight rebounds, but no other Sonora player scored more than five points.

After having a couple breakout performances, Meghann Henderson managed just four points, all on free throws.

“We tried to run some stuff to get her the ball, but at the same time we really need some other girls to step up and help with the offensive load,” said Melissa Barajas, Sonora head coach. “Everybody in the league knows to try to stop her, so we need other kids who are willing to step up, make free throws and finish layups.”

On the defensive side, Sonora (9-11, 2-3) struggled to contain Sunny Hills’ Justis Simpson, who scored a game-high 21 points.

Simpson scored six of those points in the second quarter as the Lady Lancers turned a three-point deficit into a 20-14 halftime lead.

Guard Jennifer Vinh crippled the Lady Raiders with back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter as Sunny Hills opened up a double-digit lead.

Sunny Hills (12-9, 2-3) cruised to victory in the fourth quarter.

Sonora's Meghann Henderson forces a turnover and rushes down the court on a fastbreak opportunity against Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Sonora’s Meghann Henderson forces a turnover and rushes down the court on a fastbreak opportunity against Sunny Hills, Wednesday night.

Lauren Fruto led Sunny Hills with eight rebounds, while Simpson and forward Victoria Vo added seven rebounds each.

“I just think that we aren’t very tough yet,” Barajas said. “Even though they’re a little faster, we felt like we were able to make them take shots and speed up the game, but in order to do that we had to rebound. We let them get every offensive rebound they wanted and that completely defeats our style of play.”

The Lady Raiders have lost back-to-back league games and it won’t get any easier with a road game against Troy coming up on Friday.

Sonora finished the first round of league play tied with Sunny Hills for third place at 2-3.

“We just have to pick up our intensity, I just don’t feel like we’re competing at a varsity level,” Barajas said. “We don’t win loose balls, we don’t play with the toughness that it takes to compete at this level. We need to get that from them in practice.”

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Raiders romp La Habra, Lady Highlanders spoil Sonora varsity sweep

Posted on 25 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

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.”

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