After traveling to Bakersfield and berating the two-time defending champions in Ridgeview Feb. 28, the Yosemite Badger girls basketball team (17-10, 7-3 NSL) returned to Bakersfield to play No. 1 seed Garces High (29-3, 10-0) on March 5, in the CIF Central Section D-II semi-final.
The game plan was to double team the Rams top player, 6-foot-2 CJ West which the Badgers did what they failed to do is secure rebounds from West, giving Garces a number of chances to score on each possession. This coupled with some inconsistent shooting put Yosemite behind 25-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The other quarters were more competitive but still resulted in a 60-37 Yosemite defeat. Garces went on to the Selland Arena on Friday and won the D-II Central Section Championship with a 49-31 defeat of Tulare Western, a team the Badgers beat earlier in the season, 66-65.
The Badgers scoring was led by senior guard Julia Walsh with 11 points. Walsh had 10 points the previous CIF game and turned around her season after missing her junior year of basketball due to a knee injury.
The two leading Yosemite scorers all season, senior Sierra Dominici and junior Veronica Miller each finished with 10 points. The Badgers were besieged by injuries going into the game with both centers 6-foot-2 junior center Taylor Burrall and 5-foot senior Jensen Eames both limited.
Guarding West fell on two sophomores, 5-foot-7 Ashlee Harrell and 5-foot-9 Jessica Fine.
Yosemite graduates two players who scored in the game Walsh and Dominici and returns a solid nucleus of players led by Miller, who averaged double figures in points and rebounds, three-year varsity point guard Mattaya Brown, and Burrall, who just completed her first year of playing basketball.
Dominici NSL MVP
Dominici was recently announced the MVP of the North Sequoia League with Miller garnering first team honors and both Brown and Burrall being named to the All League defensive team.