The Yosemite High varsity boys basketball team (5-3) avenged an earlier loss to Minarets (5-6) by defeating the Mustangs 62-52 Thursday night at Yosemite.
It was the type of game you would expect in what has become a competitive rivalry - A physical, emotional, and defensive game.
The YHS combination of guards Tristan and Cannon Eames tipped the balance for Yosemite. The Eames brothers combined for 42 points with Tristan scoring 23 and Cannon 19.
For Minarets, James Backmann hit six 3-point shots scoring 20 points to lead the Mustangs. Minarets 6-foot-7 center Grant Denney had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Mustang forward E.G. Walden just missed a double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
Mustang head coach Paul Varner was pleased with his team’s effort. “I thought we played well,” Varner said. “Our team played hard. We wanted to control the interior and it helped to keep it close. YHS had strong play from their guards. It was a tough, physical game for sure.”
Denney and forward Hunter Thompson, the Mustang version of the ‘twin towers,’ dominated the inside early on. It was physical from the get-go and the crowd was in it early. Minarets jumped out to a 7-4 lead but Yosemite would respond from beyond the arc. Cannon Eames and Trevor Peter each hit a 3-pointer leading to a 14-2 Badger run. YHS led 18-9 after one.
It was a slow start to the second quarter. Two Backmann 3-pointers keyed a 10-1 Minarets run while shots stopped falling for the Badgers. Walden tied the game 19-19 with a bucket. From there the Eames brothers went to work. Tristan Eames scored 5 straight points and Cannon hit a 3-point leading YHS on an 8-0 run to close out halftime with Yosemite up 27-19.
Minarets went back to the inside early in the third quarter. An inside bucket by Denney closed the gap to 33-28. Just when the Mustangs got close, the YHS guards again went into high gear. Cannon Eames hit a 3-pointer and Tristan drove the lane as he did most of the night and completed a 3-point play. All of a sudden YHS was on another run, this time 10-0 and had what seemed like a comfortable 43-28 lead. Backmann hit two straight 3-pointers to keep the Mustangs in striking distance. A wild third quarter ended with YHS up 47-34.
There was no quit in the Mustangs. Denney scored 5 points and Backmann hit another 3 and Minarets was down 51-42. The Mustangs kept it close but mostly traded baskets with the Badgers. Walden scored the final four points but it wasn’t enough as time ran out. Yosemite scored a hard-fought 62-52 victory.
The Badgers were lead by the Eames brothers in scoring, followed by Ben Negley with 8 points and 11 boards, and Peter McLean with 4 poiints and 16 rebounds, a team high. Trevor Peter scored 3 points and had 8 rebounds. For Minarets, power forward Thompson had 7 points and 4 boards. Guard Michael Rendon had 6 points and led Minarets with 5 assists. Jakob Walker had 2 points.
Badger JV pulls it out in overtime
It was a great start to a fun basketball night with the Badgers and Mustang JV squads taking their match up into overtime. YHS pulled out a 52-50 win in what was a very entertaining game. It looked like the Badgers had a close game in hand. A 3-point shot by Badger guard Dylan Allen put YHS up 43-40 with .36 left in regulation. But Mustang point guard Preston Conti nailed a 3-pointer as time expired to force overtime.
“This was an amazing game,” Badger head coach Andy Medley said. “It was definitely back and forth. I can’t remember how many times the lead changed. Both teams played well. It was really fun to be a part of.”
Yosemite power forward Tyler Matyshock had his best game of the season. The sophomore scored 27 points with 17 in the second half and overtime to lead all scorers. Forward Christian Rold added 10 and Dylan Allen connected on three 3-pointers for 9 points.
The Mustangs were led by forward Zach Redman who had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Preston Conti ran the Mustang offense and scored 19 points. Together the pair would score 39 of the Mustangs 50 points.
Minarets jumped out to a 13-6 first quarter lead keyed by two 3-pointers by Joey Olsen and inside blocks from Conti. YHS went into halftime up 26-23 despite 11 second quarter points by Redman. Tyler Matyshock dominated the inside and had 11 points.
The third quarter was a see-saw affair that had five lead changes. Conti connected on two free-throws at the end of the quarter to put Minarets up 32-29.
Matyshock took over in the fourth quarter scoring at will inside. Dylan Allen hit two 3-pointers but like the third quarter there were five lead changes. Conti’s last second three had the Mustang crowd roaring. It was fitting this one went into overtime.
Matyshock refused to let YHS lose. Matyshock would score 5 points along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals in overtime. A Matyshock steal and assist to Christian Rold put YHS up 49-45 with less than a minute to play. Conti answered for the Mustangs but it was not enough as Yosemite won 52-50 in a nail-biter.
Paul Antonis had 3 points, Nathaniel Mulkey 2, and John Nisar had 1 to complete the YHS scoring.
Conti led all players with 8 assists and had 5 blocked shots. Joey Olsen had 9 points and Noah Walters 2 for Minarets.
The Badgers will get a few days off for Christmas but then travel to play in the Santa Maria Tournament from Dec. 27 to Dec. 29. YHS opens with Sierra Pacific (7-3) on the 27th, then play Pioneer Valley of Santa Maria (4-5) on the 28th and Morro Bay (10-2) on the 29th.
Santa Maria is the hometown of Badger head coach Aaron Eames. “It should be a fun tournament,” Eames said. “It will definitely be challenging.”
The Mustangs will also have a short time off before hosting Liberty of Madera Ranchos (9-3) Jan. 3, and Fowler (5-1) Jan. 10.