The Yosemite Badgers Girls Basketball Varsity team travelled to Orange County to take part in the 16-team Garden Grove Tournament. The first round game was against the Pacifica Mariners, a team with a 8-1 record and #2 ranking in the Southern Section D-IIIAA rankings and 13th in the Maxpreps D-III state rankings. Oddly, Pacifica has about 1,800 students and is in D-III while Yosemite competes in the higher D-II with just over 700 students.
The Badgers jumped out to a 23-19 1st quarter lead led by junior Veronica Miller's 8 point with 6'2" junior center Taylor Burrall and sophomore reserve forward Ashlee Harrell each scoring 4 points in the period. Yosemite kept up the scoring pace in the next period and took a 42-27 lead at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead until the final buzzer winning 59-49. Miller finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds while Senior guard Sierra Dominici added 12 points and 6 assists.
With the win, the Badgers were matched up with D-I Westminster with a student enrollment of more than 2,500. The Lions sported a 7-2 record and played a very physical defense coupled with a 3-point shooting attack which resulted in nine 3s in the first half, however the Badgers held a 29-28 halftime lead led by 12 points scored by Senior forward Kaley Mumm and 7 points from Mattaya Brown. Yosemite could only score 5 points in the 3rd quarter and fell behind by 6 points going into the 4th quarter. The Badgers defense held the Lions to only 2 points in the period but only scored 7, resulting in a 41-40 loss. Mumm got fouled on a missed shot with 3 seconds to go but her first free throw rimmed out. With the win and another victory in their next game, Westminster played in the tournament finals on Monday. Mumm had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Miller added 12 points.
Saturday's game was against Burlingame, a highly regarded team from the Bay Area which was dealing with injury issues. The Panthers focused on stopping Veronica Miller but Dominici found her shooting touch, hitting four 3s and scoring 15 points in leading Yosemite to a 45-31 win. The Badgers dominated the boards with Miller grabbing 13 rebounds and Burrall hauling down 12.
The Badgers lost Monday's game against Kennedy of La Palma by a heartbreaking score of 44-43. The Badgers will now travel to Henderson, Nevada for another 16 team tournament. The team is 6-2 losing one game in overtime and the other by one point.
Boys team runs into tough competition in San Diego
The Yosemite boys basketball team (0-8) departed Oakhurst the day after Christmas to participate in the 23rd Annual Surf 'N Slam High School Basketball Tournament in San Diego. The three day tournament featured 24 teams from 11 states broken into three brackets based on skill level.
Yosemite played in the "Slam" bracket along with four teams from Washington, a team from Utah and University High School of San Diego.
The Badgers opened the tournament last Friday against Bainbridge High of Bainbridge Island, Wa., losing 70-15. Prior to the game with Yosemite, Bainbridge, featuring three towering juniors in 6-foot-6 Riley Irish, 6-foot-7 Ben Beatie, and 6-foot-9 Oscar Dieterich. Bainbridge's 6-foot-4 point guard Joey Blacker was named Player of the Game.
Prior to the Yosemite game, Bainbridge had only lost one game on the young season, and that was to Franklin High of Seattle, the No. 15 ranked team in the state of Washington.
Moving to the losers bracket on Saturday, Yosemite faced Liberty High of Issaquah, Wa., who lost to Cooper Hills High from West Jordan,Utah, in the first round, 74-41. Liberty beat the Badgers 73-16.
The Badgers played its third and last game in the tournament on Dec. 29 against the Kelso High School Highlanders of Kelso, WA., to decide seventh and eighth place in the bracket. The Highlanders beat Yosemite 58-31.
Prior to the tournament, the Badgers lost to Selma, 56-31 Dec. 20, an improved effort after previously losing to the Bears 59-19 earlier in the season.
Copper Hills narrowly defeated Gig Harbor 62-61 in the tournament finale to win the Slam division of the tournament.
The Badgers host Madera South Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. proceeded by the JV game. The Badgers will head back to Selma Jan. 8-11 to play in the Jesse Lujan Tournament. The team hosts Sierra at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, to open North Sequoia League play. The boys JV team and the girls JV and varsity teams will all play at home that night.