The Yosemite High School girls basketball (10-9, 3-1 NSL) team can claim sole possession of of first place in the North Sequoia League Friday with a win over rival Sierra at Baker Gym.
The two teams have shared the North Sequoia League title the past two years with 9-1 records -- both times winning in the first round and losing the rematch. Yosemite hopes to win the title outright this year for its 11th consecutive title. The Badgers handedly beat the Chieftains 51-36 in Tollhouse Jan. 16.
Yosemite blows out Union
The team showed its split personality last week, hot against Washington Union in a home 64-18 blowout and cold in a narrow 36-33 defeat on the road to Chowchilla.
In the Union game the Badgers jumped out to a 38-14 halftime lead and continued to dominate in the second half even with a running clock.
Junior Rylie McConnell led the was with 17 points, making four of five shots from the field and three of five 3-pointers. She added five assists and four steals to her scoring effort.
Senior Dahlia Lopez and junior Kaley Mumm each had 12 points with Mumm bringing down nine rebounds.
The win over Union set up a showdown for first place at the Chowchilla Redskins gym. The Badgers could only make two of 27 3-point attempts but still managed to tie the game with 48 seconds to go. A Chowchilla shot near the end of the 30 second shot clock rolled around the rim and dropped in the basket, much to the delight of the loud Redskins' crowd.
The Badgers had three chances to tie the game with 3-point shots, and although each shot was close, none of them fell through the net. It was the Badgers first defeat to the Redskins since 2002.
Post players Lopez and Veronica Miller led scoring with 13 and 10 points respectively.
The Badgers were without the services of starter Sierra Dominici who was sick.
The defeat means the Girls team needs to win its next six games to ensure at least a share of its 11th straight league championship. Meeting the challenge should help the Badgers compete in the Division II playoffs.
The Badgers travelled to Kerman Wednesday and host Sierra Friday at 6:30 p.m. Chowchilla comes to Oakhurst Feb. 13.
Boys drop two league games - Sierra and player Blunt here Friday
Yosemite High's basketball win streak was short lived - One.
After getting its first win of the season the week before over Liberty, the Badgers (1-17, 1-3 NSL) lost North Sequoia League road games to Washington Union 15-9, 3-1 NSL) on Jan. 22 and to Chowchilla (8-5, 1-1) Jan. 25.
Unlike the week prior, when Yosemite put four quarters together to beat Liberty for its first win of the season, the Badgers were outscored in the second half in by Union and Chowchilla by a combined 74-30.
Yosemite played Washington Union close in the first half Jan. 22 in Easton, trailing 25-19. But the Panthers picked up the pace in the second half, outscoring the Badgers 42-16, to cruise to a 67-35 win.
Game high scorer was Union's Isacc Sears with 20. Adding to Union's point total was Shakor Major with 18 and Trevor Hooper with 10.
No one for Yosemite scored in double figures. Luke Blate had nine, followed by Jason Lee, six, Ben Williams and Aaron Bausch, five, Jensen Davis, four, Derek Jenkins, two, and Bobby Magee, one.
Last Friday night at Chowchilla, the Badgers once again played a good first half, falling behind by just three points, 21-18.
But the second half, like at Union, saw the Badgers outscored 32-14 as Chowchilla coasted to the 53-32 win.
Game high scoring honors went to Chowchilla's Aaron Deatherage with 15, followed by teammate Lorenzo with 11.
Ty Grant was high scorer for the Badgers with eight points.
The Badgers were without the services of senior center Dillon Moran in both games last week due to a sprained ankle in the Jan. 18 game with Liberty.
Sierra (13-8, 3-1 NSL) surprised Union Friday night with a 75-63 win. The two teams are now tied for the league lead. Sierra's Casy Blunt, who scored 27 in Sierra's 71-46 win over Yosemite the week before, exploded for 47 points against Union, while his supporting cast of seven teammates contributed a combined 28 points.
Blunt and company will visit Yosemite Friday. Game times are girls JV 3:30 p.m., boys JV 5 p.m., girls varsity 6:30 p.m. and boys varsity 8 p.m.