The Yosemite High Badgers basketball team (5-20, 3-7 NSL) finished off a disappointing season with a close 50-42 loss to the Kerman Lions (12-11, 7-3 NSL), last Friday.
Although not in contention for a Central Section playoff birth, the Badgers came out playing hard in an effort to send their seniors out with a road win against a division opponent.
However, the Badgers struggled to overcome a poor shooting night. The Badgers started the game hitting shots coming off designed screens and seemed to be in a groove early in the game, but the Lions kept it close and scored on a buzzer-beating three point shot as time expired in the first quarter, putting the Badgers down 15-10.
The small lead seemed to be too much for the Badgers to overcome as the team struggled to find a way to outscore a Lions team that boasted eight senior players.
As the game progressed, as hard as they tried, the Badgers could not get on a run to cut into the Lions lead.
Yosemite finished the game shooting 16 of 53 from the field, including a dismal four of 20 from behind the arc. Although many of those three-point shots came late in the fourth quarter, as the Badgers were trailing by as much as 10, coach Stephen Lopez and the team seemed to abandon its inside post play early on for more three point opportunities.
The Badgers did not help themselves as they Kerman 13 points from free-throws. The Lions went 13 of 25 from the line.
A bright spot in the game came from the play of freshman point guard Tristen Eames who led the team with 10 points to go with three assists and two rebounds. Eames shot nearly 40% from the field and did a great job securing the ball all night recording no turnovers while logging significant minutes.
Lions senior point guard Michael Mendrin was the difference maker for Kerman with 11 of his 15 points coming in the third quarter. The Badgers had a tough time containing Mendrin who used fancy footwork and ball handling skills to penetrate the Badgers defense throughout the second half.