After falling behind 9-1, the Yosemite High girls basketball team (18-11, 8-1 North Sequoia League) came back to beat Monache High (20-9, 5-5 East Yosemite League) 56-48 in Porterville Feb. 23 in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Les Schwab Central Section D-II playoffs.
The win advanced the Badgers to a semifinal round game Tuesday against No. 2 Bakersfield High (22-3, 10-0, Southwest Yosemite League) on the road. The Drillers beat No. 10 Tehachapi 73-48 in the Feb. 23 quarterfinals. The Drillers are led by 5-foot-9 junior Taylor Caldwell, who averages 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals and 3 blocked shots a game.
The winner of the Badger/Drillers game will most likely play the D-II No. 1 team Independence High (26-3, 10-0 league) for the D-II championship game at 6 p.m., March 3 at Selland Arena in Fresno.
Independence beat No. 8 Shafter 61-38 and will play No. 4 Redwood Tuesday. Redwood beat No. 5 Selma 80-37 to advance to the semifinal round.
The Yosemite/Bakersfield score was not available at press time but can been seen at www.sierrastar.com.
One point game at half, 16-15
The No. 6 seed Badgers were down by just one to the No. 3 Mauraders at the end of the first quarter, 16-15.
The Lady Badgers, a team made up primarily of sophomores, kept the game close and were behind at the half 27-26.
The third quarter saw both teams have scoring spurts. The Badgers went on a 9-point run to give them an an 8-point lead - a lead they stretched to 12 before Monache came back with its own 9-point run. But the Badgers came back with another run and an 8-point lead, 43-35, at the end of the third period.
13 of 19 4th quarter free throws
It was free throws that preserved the win for the Badgers - The team did not make a basket in the fourth quarter but found their range at the free-throw line, sinking 13 of 19 to maintain the lead and win 56-48.
Two sophomores - Grace Fries and Sophie McGoldrick - were the game’s leading scorers with 16 points each. Another sophomore, Hailey Rich, contributed 7 points from eight free-throw attempts and sophomore point guard Lilly Graffigna added 6 from 8 attempts from the charity line in the second half.
Rounding out the scoring was junior Siena Oswald and senior Carly Baldwin (4 each), Trinity Curtis (2) and Linnea Leinai (1).
McGoldrick and Rich each had 10 rebounds, and Fries and Oswald had 8 each.