SONORA -- After watching Manteca High repeatedly penetrate for close shots in the first half, Sonora turned to its zone defense to force the Buffaloes out of their comfort zone.
The strategy paid off, as the Wildcats allowed just 16 second-half points to rally for a 52-40 Valley Oak League victory. Sonora (10-4, 1-0) outscored Manteca (7-7, 0-1) 30-16 after intermission.
Allison Holt (12 points) and Hannah Blume (10) rallied the Wildcats' offense, but guard Allison Perry's defense was crucial in the second half. Perry had nine points and a handful of steals, according to coach Mike Lewis, and never left the court.
Cynthia Perez (12 points) and Cassie Gause (11) helped Manteca to its 24-22 halftime lead.
CERES 42, WESTON RANCH 29, at Weston Ranch -- The Bulldogs (6-7, 1-0) wore down the Cougars (5-7, 0-1) with their press and took advantage of the absence of star player Tempest Dawson to outscore Weston Ranch 11-4 in the third quarter. Dawson spent much of the third period on the bench in foul trouble. Ceres sophomore forward Jode Johnson scored 18 points.
EAST UNION 62, OAKDALE 30, at Oakdale -- The Lancers (8-7, 1-0) made three of their four 3-pointers in the second quarter, when they outscored the Mustangs (4-9, 0-1) 23-8 to take a 39-16 halftime lead. Rachel McDaniel led East Union with a game-high 17 points, and Ashley Rose scored nine of her 14 in the second period.
Modesto Metro Conference
DAVIS 46, JOHANSEN 34, at Johansen -- Meghan Devlin scored 12 points and Brehanna Castilleja added 11, and the Spartans (4-10, 1-0) took a 25-11 halftime lead over the cold-shooting Vikings (2-10, 0-1). Alexandra Cariker led Johansen with 12 points.
"We played a real tight defensive game and our rebounding was the story of the first half," Davis coach Joe Ovalle said. "Megan had 11 rebounds in the first half, five on offense, and Cashi Tomicich had 10 rebounds in the half."
Davis' guard tandem of Castilleja and Erin Ovalle, meanwhile, dictated the tempo on the perimeter. Castilleja hit two of her 3-point shots, while Ovalle had six points, 11 assists and four steals.
"We had been playing without Megan and Erin for the last seven games, so it was nice to get them back on the court for our (MMC) opener," Ovalle said.
BEYER 50, DOWNEY 42, at Downey -- Courtney Hardy scored 10 points and the Patriots (2-11, 1-0) held off the Knights (2-11, 0-1), despite a nice outing from Erika Lua (nine points, 12 rebounds, seven steals and two blocked shots).
MODESTO 48, ENOCHS 32, at Enochs -- Vanessa Flores had 15 points and the Panthers (5-9, 1-0) used a 20-9 third-quarter run to top the Eagles (5-8, 0-1).
HUGHSON 53, RIVERBANK 32, at Riverbank -- The Bruins (1-10, 0-1) had difficulty with Hughson's press, and Christie Hobby scored nine of her game-high 13 points in the first quarter to help the Huskies (8-2, 1-0) take an 18-2 lead. Vanessa Rodriguez made two 3-pointers and scored eight points for Riverbank.
Mother Lode League
LINDEN 74, AMADOR 34, at Linden -- Jordan Baca (13 points, six assists) and Bridgette Hughes (11 points, seven steals) helped the Lions (9-4, 1-0) overpower the Buffaloes (4-10, 0-1). Linden led 49-19 at halftime, using its full-court pressure to fluster Amador.