The Yosemite High School girls varsity basketball team won three games in last week's Hoover Tournament, including a thrilling 66-65 overtime win against highly regarded D-II Tulare Western a game that had senior Sierra Dominici scoring 26 points in the second half, overshadowing Tulare Western's Dashayla Johnson, one of the best players in the Central Section.
Johnson has made a verbal commitment to play for Cal State Fullerton next year.
The match-up came in the third game of the tournament for the Badgers on Dec. 13.
Johnson had 31 points against Yosemite and carried the Mustangs into overtime but it wasn't enough to overcome Dominici's 26 points in the second half to lead the Badgers to the big win. Domonici finished the night with 29 pooints.
Junior Veronica Miller added 15 points and 6-foot-2 junior center Taylor Burrall, in her first year of playing basketball, scored 11 points and was 5-6 from the free throw line.
The win by the D-II Badgers will loom big come playoff seeding time as head to head results are a priority criteria.
The lady Badgers opened the tournament on Dec. 11 with a 58-38 win over Sierra Pacific. Leading scorers were Dominici with 17 points and Miller with 11.
The second round game was against D-1 Clovis East and the Badgers led most of the game despite being plagued by foul trouble and poor percentage shooting.
The game went into overtime but the Yosemite team was unable to make key baskets when needed. All the scoring in the overtime period came from free throws with Clovis East, a D-1 school, pulling out the 43-37 win.
With a student body of 700 +, Yosemite is the smallest D-II school in the state. The D-1 Clovis schools have enrollments generall of 2,000 +.
Miller had another big night with 14 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Badgers.
The Badgers then played league rival Sierra Dec. 14 in the fourth game of the tournament. Sierra was playing very well in the tournament, having beaten much larger schools in Edison and Monache and losing to eventual tournament champion Clovis North in a game tied going deep into the fourth quarter.
The Badgers and Cheiftains played a close game, with the Badgers getting the 41-40 victory.
Once again Miller and Dominici were high scorers for Yosemite, finishing with 11 and 10 points respectively. Miller added an impressive 20 rebounds.
Yosemite's three wins placed them fifth in the 14 team tournament.
Badgers home Friday
The team hosts the Buchanan Bears on Friday in the first home game of the season. The triple-header begins at 4 p.m. with the frosh/soph, followed by the JV game at 5:15 p.m. and the varsity at 6:30 p.m. Coach Gary Blate always has his team play a tough pre-seson schedule, as evidenced by Buchanan, a Clovis school with more than three times the enrollment of Yosemite.
After the Buchanan game, the team hits the road with tournaments in Orange County and Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Yosemite hosts Clovis North, the team that won the Hoover Championship with a close win over Clovis East.
JV off to 5-1 start
The Badgers girls JV team has a 5-1 record and came in third place in last week's Madera tournament competing against much larger schools.
Coached by former Badger Patricia O'Neill, the JV squad has height, speed and good shooting and should be a formidable foe in the North Sequoia League this season.
Boys team loses three in Kingsburg tournament
The Badger boys team played in the Kingsburg Tournament last week, losing three games.
On Dec. 11, the Badgers lost to tournament host Kingsburg, 51-37.
On Dec. 12, the team suffered a 59-19 loss to Selma.
That game was followed by a 73-37 loss to Coalinga.
The team will travel tomorrow (Friday) to again face Selma at 7:30 p.m. and will play in the Surf N Slam Tournament in San Diego Dec. 27-30. The team's first home game of the season will be against Madera South at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 6.
Alumni games Sunday
The Yosemite High boys and girls fundraising alumni games will be played at 2:30 p.m. (girls game) and 4 p.m. (boys game) this Sunday (Dec. 22) in the Yosemite High gym.
Alumni players can still sign-up for the game for a $10 donation by contacting Gary Blate at (559)
Admissing to the games is $3 for adults and $1 for students.
Proceeds from the games benefit the YHS basketball program.