With two more basketball victories last week, the Yosemite High Lady Badgers (15-10, 6-0 North Sequoia League) retained their position on top of the NSL, one game ahead of Kerman.
The Badgers are currently on a 10-game win streak and are ranked No. 6 in D-II of the Central Section.
The top teams are last year’s D-II defending champion Independence High (2,070 enrollment) and playoff finalist Bakersfield High (2,860). The other D-II ranked teams are No. 3 team Monache (1,765 students), No. 4 Selma (1,785 students) and No. 5 Redwood (2,145 students). Yosemite’s current enrollment is just over 700.
On Feb. 3, the Badgers played at Liberty, a team that has not beaten the Yosemite girls basketball team since joining the NSL in the 2010 season. That streak stands as the Badgers beat the Hawks 42-22.
Although the Hawks were held scoreless in the first quarter, the Badgers only managed 6 points and made only one 3-point basket at the end of the second quarter to gave Yosemite a 10 point lead at halftime, 16-6.
In the third quarter Sophie McGoldrick took matters into her own hands, scoring 11 points to give Yosemite a 33-18 lead going into the final period in which the Badgers maintained control and finished with the win.
McGoldrick finished with 18 points, making three 3-pointers, and pulling down 9 rebounds. The teams leading scorer, Grace Fries, added 10 points but had a tough time on her long shots (1 for 10 on 3-pointers).
Badgers beat Chieftains 54-49
On Feb. 1, the Badgers traveled to Sierra for a game between the two schools that have dominated the NSL since 2005. The Badgers had won this season’s first round NSL game by pulling away from the Chieftains in the fourth quarter. There was no doubt that longtime Sierra coach Cathy Lauritzen would have her troops ready to play on their home court.
Sierra broke out quickly to a 15-6 first quarter lead and the Badgers chipped away in the second quarter, assisted by 5 for 5 free throw shooting, to go in at halftime down 23-17. The Badgers had not been behind at halftime in their previous nine games, all victories.
In the third quarter, Yosemite dominated, scoring 22 points with sophomores Grace Fries and Hailey Rich with 7 and 6 points respectively, while holding Sierra to 8 to take a 39-31 lead.
The Chieftains twice closed the gap to 1 point but the Badgers made timely baskets and hit enough free throws to finish with a 54-49 victory.
Four Yosemite players, all sophomores, finished in double figures, led by Lilly Graffigna with 13, McGoldrick 11, and both Fries and Rich contributing 10. Rich also had 10 rebounds.
The Badgers continued their success at the free throw line making 15 of 22 attempts.
The team went to Washington Union (9-15, 2-3 NSL) Wednesday. Scores were not available at press time.
Last year the Panthers beat Yosemite in Easton by 10 points and lost at YHS on a buzzer beater by Hailey Rich.
On Friday, the Badgers host Chowchilla with the varsity girls game at 6 p.m. and boys varsity to follow at 7:30. Yosemite will honor its seniors including Carly Baldwin, foreign exchange student Julia Knott, from Germany, and team manager Kourtney Allen.
The following week Yosemite hosts Washington Union on Feb. 13 and Kerman on Feb. 15. Both games at 6:30 p.m.. In a schedule oddity necessitated by floor problems at Sierra and a rescheduling of the Washington game because of bad weather, the Badgers played five league games away in a row.
Kerman plays at the YHS gym at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the final game of the regular season.
Yosemite High Correspondent