Sonora Ousts Laguna Hills


Brandi Davis outdueled Megan Aaker, and Sonora took out Orange County’s only Southern Section champion from a year ago with a 54-50 girls’ basketball victory over Laguna Hills on Saturday night.

Sonora (22-5), playing a first-round Southern Section Division II-AA game at home, got 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals from Davis. Aaker scored 23, all in the first three quarters, and had 10 rebounds, three steals and four assists.

“To be honest, this felt like a quarter or semifinal,” said Sonora Coach Rick Albano, who watched Davis score eight points, including two three-point baskets, in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to break a 38-38 tie.


Laguna Hills Coach Jim Martin said Jessica Chades’ three-point basket with two seconds left in the third quarter was the back-breaker.

“That was huge,” Martin said. “We really had momentum, we were rolling, and that steadied [Sonora].”

Chades’ basket ended an 8-0 run by Laguna Hills. The Hawks took their only lead, 38-35, when Brooke Bartelson made a three-point basket with 31 seconds left in the third. They trailed by as many as 10 in the third quarter.

Laguna Hills (16-12), the Division II-A champion last season, didn’t go down easily, cutting an eight-point deficit to 51-49 with 1:40 to go. But the Hawks missed five shots and three of four freethrows the rest of the way. Davis got an assist on Jana Hebert’s layup with 46 seconds to go, and made a free throw with seven seconds left to put the game out of reach.

“It’s disappointing to not go on, but Sonora played well and hit the shots when they needed to,” said Aaker, who didn’t score in the fourth quarter.

Aaker was zero for six from the field in the fourth quarter, and couldn’t draw any shooting fouls after going eight for 11 from the free-throw line in the first three quarters.


Laguna Hills made 22 of 34 free throws, Sonora eight of 18.

When second-round play continues Wednesday, Sonora plays the Santa Barbara-Pasadena winner.