Sonora High was in need of a turnaround, having lost four out of five and its first two Valley Oak League games, before the season slipped away.
Six-foot senior Brittany Malone was there to give the Wildcats the boost they needed, leading them to three victories last week and raising their league record to 4-2 -- just one game out of first place.
Malone had 13 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and three assists in a 63-37 rout of Weston Ranch, then had nine points, 10 rebounds, five steals and three blocks in a 72-31 victory over Central Valley.
"Brittany is really working hard on her game. Early in the season we had to get her basketball legs back," said coach Lloyd Longeway, noting that Malone only played in Sonora's final three games last year due to a knee injury. "She has done so much for us, The biggest being her leadership.
"On the court she is causing a lot of trouble on the glass, on both ends of the floor. She has been a force defensively with blocks and the shots she has altered. Her offensive game is coming along as she is looking to be more aggressive and attack. A four-year varsity player, her experience and maturity show up on and off the court."
Malone is averaging eight points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks a game for the Wildcats. She's had double-digit rebounds in five of the last six games, including 21 two weeks ago in a loss to East Union, and has fouled out of just one of her 13 games this season.