The outstanding play of four Yosemite High School basketball players have been recognized by North Sequoia League coaches. Three seniors from the Badger girls team and a junior from the boys team have received post-season honors.
Making the girls NSL All-League first team were Taylor Burrall and Veronica Miller while Mattaya Brown was selected to the second team.
Burrall also was chosen the NSL Defensive Player of the Year while Brown was also selected for the all-league defensive team.
All league voting rules did not allow Yosemite coach Gary Blate to vote for his own players, so these selections were considered and made by the other coaches in the league.
There was little doubt amongst coaches who the Defensive Player of the Year was - the 6-foot-3 Burrall -her 181 blocked shots on the season made her the No. 1 shot blocker in the Central Section, No. 2 in the state, and placed her in the top 10 in the nation.
She was also the Badgers’ leading scorer and had a triple double (12 points, 13 rebounds, 10 blocks) in the CIF D-II semi-final game against the eventual CIF Champions, Independence High School of Bakersfield who beat the Badgers 49-40.
The league MVP award went to Sierra’s Megan Stark.
Burrall set the school record for blocks in a game with 11 against Bella Vista, a team with five players over 6-foot. Her highest scoring game this season was 20 points, becoming the 14th Badger to reach that total since 2003. Her exploits on the basketball court were extraordinary - more so considering it was only her second year playing basketball.
Burrall plans to attend Reedley Community College next season and play Volleyball, a game she has played since she was in elementary school. She may also play basketball at Reedley, a feat accomplished the past two years by 2013 YHS graduate Dahlia Lopez, who received collegiate all-conference honors in both sports.
Miller was a four-year varsity player at YHS who ended being the No. 2 all-time school leader in career rebounds behind Sydnee Fipps (2011) and ahead of Katie Menton (2007), both of whom went on to score more than 1,000 points at the NCAA D-I lev - Fipps at UC Davis and Menton at Pepperdine University.
Miller finished her Yosemite career with 892 points, good for No. 7 on the all-time list. A 5-foot-10 forward and 4.0 student, Miller was this year’s homecoming queen and also a first team all-league selection last year. She plans to attend college in Southern California and could play basketball if there is an opportunity to make a team.
Brown was a also a four-year varsity player who led the team in 3-point shots, steals and assists this season. Brown has highly regarded by opposing coaches as a playmaker and, at 5-foot-8, was at an advantage in defending the passing lanes and inhibiting perimeter shooting. Brown was coveted by a number of community college coaches and plans to join Burrall next season at Reedley College.
City-County All-Star game June 24
The three seniors have also been chosen to play in the 45th Annual City-County All-Star basketball game, 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 24, at Fresno’s Buchanan High School, prior to the boys.
Burrall and Miller will be members of the 12-player County squad, with Brown being chosen as a first alternate. It is common for teams to have to use their alternates so the three selections is quite an accomplishment for Yosemite. The coach of the county team is Anna Almedia from Caruthers, the D-V Central Section Championship.
Almedia also selected three players from her own team, and three players from D-2 runner-up Sierra, out of the 36 players nominated.
Burrall, Miller and Brown will be the 20th Badgers to participate in the game since 2005, a testament to the strength of the Yosemite girls basketball program and Coach Blate.
Cross selected for All-League team
Yosemite’s 6-foot-7 center Kade Cross was named to the boys NSL All-League first team.
Cross, a junior, finished the season averaging nearly 19 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots per game. He scored a total of 471 points this season, had 35 points in two games, and had 13 double-doubles (points and rebounds), and one triple-double (10 points, 15 rebounds, 10 blocked shots).
The league MVP award went to Trevor Hooper of Washington Union, who won the league title.
Cross is expected to join the elite YHS boys 1,000 point club next season, needing just 374 points to be added to the short list of in the school’s history to accomplish the milestone - Rael Lang (1988-’91) with 1,431 points, and Travis Ressler (2000-’02) with 1,028.
“I’m looking forward to next season - the team is going to be better, and my personal goal is to get in the 1,000 Point Club,” Cross said.