With two victories over Washington Union and the cancellation of the Chowchilla game last week, the Yosemite High School girls basketball team (17-10, 8-0 North Sequoia League) is one game ahead in league play.
The Lady Badgers are scheduled to play Kerman (23-5, 8-1 NSL) Wednesday at Yosemite High School. The last Lions loss came at the hands of Yosemite, 50-46 in Kerman on Jan. 27.
The Yosemite girls are on a 12-game win streak including a tournament championship and undefeated league campaign.
The Badgers played at Washington Union on Feb. 8. The Panthers had been playing good basketball and in the two games against Yosemite last season, had come way with a victory and closing seconds loss.
Union jumped out to a 13-11 lead after the first quarter, but the Badgers defense stiffened and only allowed 2 points in the second quarter, taking the lead at halftime 21-15.
The Panthers offense got back into gear in the third quarter and actually took the lead at one point before falling back 31-29 going into the fourth period which the Badgers dominated coming away with the 47-33 victory.
Two sophomores led Yosemite - Sophie McGoldrick scored 7 points in the final quarter and finished with 16 points. Leading scorer Grace Fries got 15 points. They were a combined 7 of 9 on free throws and 4 of 12 on 3 point shots.
Junior Sienna Oswald added 13 rebounds while sophomore Hailey Rich had 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Last Friday’s home game against Chowchilla was canceled due to flash flood warnings in the Valley. The Badgers had won the first round contest 60-31.
On Feb. 13, a makeup game with Union from a snow-out was pivotal to the Badgers seeking the lead crown. After playing Yosemite close for three quarters on Feb. 8, Washington hosted Sierra on Friday and beat the Chieftains 51-46. The game looked ominous for Yosemite, but not to sophomore center Hailey Rich who scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Badgers jumped out to a 20-6 lead.
Grace Fries scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Yosemite was up 34-15 at half-time. The Panthers could not close with the Badgers winning every quarter. Fries finished with 18 points, Rich 14 and McGoldrick 12.
Senior guard Carly Baldwin had 8 points with two 3-point shots and Siena Oswald had 10 rebounds.
Improved shooting has led the Badgers towards the NSL crown which will be 14th in the past 16 seasons under the leadership of Coach Gary Blate.
In the nine league games, the Badgers are shooting 75 of 115 (65%) from the free-throw line.
Yosemite is the leading ‘shooting percentage’ team in the Central Section D-II at 63% for the season, and is No. 5 in the section at 56% for the season.
Fries is No. 4 in the Central Section in made 3s with 54 for the season, while McGoldrick is now 7 of 15 on 3-point shots during league play. Oswald leads the league in rebounding and is No. 11 in the section.