The Yosemite High boys varsity basketball team (8-5) participated in the Santa Maria Holiday Basketball Tournament during the holiday break, losing two games and winning two.
The Badgers were defeated by Sierra Pacific (9-5) of Hanford 63-53 on Dec. 27 and Pioneer Valley (8-6) 79-60 the next day. Playing only three hours after the Pioneer Valley game, YHS bounced back by beating Morro Bay (11-4) 57-44. YHS closed out the tournament by defeating Lindsay (8-7) 57-55.
Overall the combined record of Badger opponents in the tournament was 36-22.
Badgers make just 21 of 67 shots
The Sierra Pacific Golden Bears of the East Sequoia League led throughout and built a 41-29 halftime lead over Yosemite. The Badgers were cold shooting, hitting just 21 of 67 (31%) shots.
Senior Tristan Eames led YHS with 19 points and his brother Cannon, a junior, had 13 points and 3 steals. Senior power forward Peter McLean had 8 points and led YHS with 11 rebounds. Forward Trevor Peter contributed 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocked shots.
The Pioneer Valley Panthers beat the Badgers by 19, the largest loss of the early season. The Panthers outscored Yosemite 32-12 in the second quarter. YHS played the Panthers evenly the rest of the way, but could not climb out of the second quarter hole.
Cannon Eames had another outstanding game leading YHS with 25 points while connecting on three 3-point shots. He also had 3 assists.
McLean had a double-double including his highest scoring output of the season with 17 points while pulling down 11 rebounds.
Tristan Eames scored 9 points - the first time this season he has scored under 10 points. Trevor Peter had 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Yosemite bounces back against Morro Bay
After a three hour break, Yosemite bounced back defeating Morro Bay 57-44. The Pirates came into the tournament with only two losses. YHS led 30-26 at halftime and pulled away in the second half. The Badger defense limited the Pirates to just 18 second half points. The win was meaningful as YHS did it without point guard and senior captain Tristan Eames who sat out the game.
Other Badgers had to step up to fill the scoring gap and McLean did just that scoring a season-high 21 points on 8 for 11 shooting. McLean pulled down 9 rebounds, along with 2 assists and 2 steals. Overall, the Badgers shot 41% connecting on 20 of 49 shots.
Cannon Eames scored 16 points including three 3-pointers. Eames, filling in at point guard for brother Tristan, also had 6 assists.
Forward Brian Mularkey had 7 points and 7 rebounds in a solid performance. Peter had another good all-around performance scoring 5 points with 2 assists and 2 steals. Center Ben Negley led Yosemite with 13 rebounds to go with his 4 points, 2 assists and 2 steals.
57-55 over Lindsay
The Badgers final game of the tournament was a 57-55 win against Lindsay.
“This was a big win for us,” said assistant coach Erik Peterson. “Lindsay was ranked No. 7 in D-IV going into the game. A win like that can help us for playoff seedings down the road., and despite two losses, we still managed second place in pool play.”
Lindsay took an early lead and went into halftime leading 34-25. The Badgers would crawl back by outscoring the Cardinals 17-11 in the third. YHS took the lead for good with 2:16 to play while outscoring Lindsay 15-10 in the final quarter.
As a team YHS shot 36% on 24 of 66 shooting. Cannon Eames led Yosemite with 17 points to go with his 4 assists, 4 steals and 6 rebounds.
McLean had another outstanding tournament performance with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He is currently averaging 11 points and 12 rebounds a game.
Negley had his best game of the tournament with his third double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) of the season. Tristan Eames added 9 points and had 3 steals.
On the road
The Badgers played an away game at Jan. 3 in Tulare against Mission Oak (5-9). The D-II Hawks play in the East Yosemite League and are coached by former YHS Coach Mark Siverly. Siverly’s team is coming off a 22-7 performance last season that included a 13-game win streak. The team lost 77-61 in the D-II semifinals to Ridgeview last year.
Since taking over the program in the 2014/15 season, Siverly is 46-19 overall.
Yosemite will play in the Jesse Lujan Memorial Basketball Tournament at Selma High School Jan. 5 - 7. Not originally on the Badgers schedule, a team dropped out of the tournament, creating an opening.
“We could use more games and this tournament will include most of our North Sequoia League teams,” Peterson said. “It will give us a good preseason test.”
The Badgers will host Fresno Christian on Jan. 11 and open league play at Sierra on Jan. 13.