The Yosemite High School girls varsity basketball team, coached by Gary Blate, recently came home with the championship trophy after going undefeated at the Lake Tahoe Championships Tournament played June 22-24.
The lady Badgers won the championship winning four games against club and high school teams. The Badgers won all four games against club teams from Salinas and the Bay Area and Menlo High and Incline High by double digits.
Only one senior graduated from last season's North Sequoia League co-champions and the team returns the top seven scorers for the upcoming season. Those players include 6-foot senior-to-be Dahlia Lopez, juniors Sierra Dominici, Rylie McConnell, Kaley Mumm, Jensen Eames and sophomores Veronica Miller and Mattaya Brown. Stephanie Pardue and Jessica Rudd fill out the roster.
"This team is very balanced," Blate said. "Our two guards, McConnell and Dominici, were all league selections last year and they provided the bulk of our scoring in the tournament and Lopez had two double-doubles (points and rebouds)."
Blate said team members are working hard this summer to return the team to the elite level of prior seasons.
"The players are focused on continuing the streak of 10 league titles," Blate said.
The boys varsity team, coached by Steve Lopez, have had injury setbacks this summer, especially to taller players. The team competed in the tournament with a serious height disadvantage, going 1-3 in the tournament. The highlight of the tournament for the team was an overtime win over Truckee High School.
The summer team is made up of three seniors-to-be Luke Blate, Ty Grant and Derek Jenkins, juniors Bobby Magee, Carson Conti and Ben Williams and freshman Jayson Lee.
The Badger teams have had a busy summer. In addition to playing in tournaments, the boys and girls varsity teams are fund-raising to participate in the Orlando Holiday Tournament which takes place in late December through the New Year's Holiday. Both teams have gone to the tournament independently in the past but this is the first time both varsity basketballs have been invited in the same year.
Bowling for Basketball
On Saturday, July 28, from 1-4 p.m, the teams are hosting a Bowling for Basketball event at the Oakhurst's Sierra Lanes. The cost is $20 including shoes, bowling, pizza buffet and chances to win valuable prizes. More information can be obtained from Barbara Mumm, (559) 213-1035 .
The teams have been working hard to raise money for the Orlando trip. In the Spring they hosted a tournament, held a rummage sage, car washes, a junior high dance, sold tri-tip sandwiches at the Memorial Day peddlers' fair and operated two fireworks booths.
This month, the boys and girls teams will attend the NorCal Team Camp in Sonora on consecutive weekends and then head to Las Vegas for tournaments July 19-22.
Future fund-raising events include a golf tournament on Sunday, Sept. 9 (Pam Rudd, (559) 760-2205) and a costume ball on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Golden Chain Theater (Sheri Dominici, (559) 760-4120).
Yosemite's boys and girls JV teams have also been busy playing in events this summer with Badger alumni coaches, Aaron Wilkins with the boys and Tricia O'Neill running the younger girls team.