Yosemite High School played host to a seven team varsity and JV round-robin scrimmage on Nov. 28, including Clovis, Selma, Chowchilla, McFarland, Mariposa, Minarets, and YHS. It was a chance for coaches to see their teams in action as they make final adjustments before the season starts next week.
The scrimmages consisted of nine minute contests with a running clock. The first series was played with a “no press” defense, allowing teams to bring the ball across mid-court and work on offensive plays. The second round allowed for pressure defense with limited use of the whistle. By the third round, teams were playing at a higher level working on both defense and offense.
It’s a great format for coaches to evaluate their players and work on situational play. Each team showed strengths and weaknesses. Yosemite freshman Haily Rich, one of four freshman playing varsity, was very impressive. At 5-foot-10-inches tall, Rich was a presence in the paint and on the boards, and her hustle was unmatched on the floor. The Badgers appeared deep on the bench and moved the ball well.
Coach Gary Blate will have a solid team for the next couple years as the freshmen develop at the varsity level. The Badgers have just five seniors on the squad of 13. Senior Allie Stearns dropped in a couple three-pointers from outside the arc, and fellow senior Ashlee Harrel showed good ball handling as the Badgers held their own against Clovis as well as the rest of the field.
The Mustangs, under first year coach Dee Kamalani, will carry seven seniors on an “experience under fire” team. Five of the seven played varsity ball as freshmen, taking their lumps along the way.
Seniors Kelea Kamalani and Natalie Chamberlain did most of the scoring for the Mustangs. The two advanced to the finals in a three-point contest, eventually losing to Selma.
Minarets opened its season Dec. 2 in the Fowler Invitational Tournament. The Mustangs will play either Laton or Fowler Dec. 3, with the tournament concluding Saturday with the consultation championship game 10:30 a.m., and the championship game at 1:30 p.m..
Yosemite opened its season Dec. 1 at Clovis, and plays in the Elk Grove Tournament Dec. 3 - 5.
The Mustangs will field a JV team for the first time in girls basketball, as they attempt to build on the young program.
Yosemite’s JV team will be coached this season by James Andersen who was pleased with his team’s effort last Saturday.
“The players showed a lot of improvement from their first scrimmage of the day to the last,” Andersen said.