The Yosemite High School Boys basketball team started off the season on a frantic pace in great fashion. The Badgers went 4-1 and claimed third place in the eight-team Madera South Classic.
It was a busy week. The Badger had high expectations prior to the start of the season.
YHS played 36 games against tough competition over the summer. With a strong start lots of preseason questions were answered.
“We had a really good week,” head coach Aaron Eames said. “Our team played five games in five nights. That would test any team. We showed consistency every night. I think it’s one of the best starts this program has had in the last 10 years.”
The week started off with the Badgers traveling to Mendota on Dec. 1. YHS crushed the Aztecs 67-26.
The Badgers were led by junior point guard Tristan Eames with 16 points. Junior forward Trevor Peters added 12. YHS dominated from start to finish, outscoring Mendota every quarter and built a commanding 33-12 lead at halftime. Kade Cross had eight points and five rebounds.
The next day the Badgers defeated Golden West of Visalia in the first game of the Madera South Classic 69-58. The Badgers were down 43-28 at half, but went on an 8-0 run to start the third quarter and a 6-0 run to start the fourth.
Kade Cross had 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead YHS. Sophomore Cannon Eames poured in a career-high six three-pointers scoring 18 points. Cannon also had five assists and four steals. Tristan scored 16 points for the second straight game. Tristan had a team-high six assists. Power forward Peter McLean had six points and eight rebounds.
In Yosemite's only loss of the week, the host Madera South Stallions defeated the Badgers by the score of 66-50. Foul trouble plagued the Badgers early in the game. It was too much for the Badgers to overcome.
Madera South led 36-29 at the half, but outscored YHS 22-13 in the decisive third quarter. Tristan Eames had his third straight double-digit scoring night leading YHS with 13 points. Peter McLean had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kade Cross was limited to just seven points and five rebounds. Cross got into early foul trouble.
Friday night saw the Badgers take on the Panthers of Corcoran. The Badgers were up 30-29 in the first half, but pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Panthers 48-18 to win by the final score of 78-47.
Kade Cross again had a double-double scoring 24 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Cross also had two blocked shots.
Cannon Eames connected on four three-point shots on his way to a 15 point scoring night. Cannon also had four steals.
Tristan Eames finished with 10 points. Tristan led YHS with six steals. Sophomore small forward Ben Negley had eight points and eight rebounds. Peter McLean had eight points and seven rebounds.
On Saturday Yosemite played McLane for third place. The Badgers got off to a fast start, leading 40-18 at the half and held on for the third place trophy winning 66-58.
Cannon Eames hit five three-pointers to lead YHS with 17 points. Kade Cross had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocked shots. Tristan Eames had 15 points, five assists, and four rebounds. It was the fifth straight game that Tristan scored in double figures. Peter McLean had six points, Ben Negley five, and forward Alex Williams added four.
Kade Cross was named to the all-tournament team. For the week Tristan Eames averaged 14 points per game.
“We scored at a high level most of the week,” coach Aaron Eames said. “I liked our defensive effort. It was something we worked on this summer. Our kids are stronger and more confident. That’s about the work we put in prior to the season. We have two more tournaments in December that will continue to challenge us. We have reason to be really excited about this season.”
The Badgers travel to Kingsburg this week for the Kingsburg Lions Tournament. The Badgers open the tournament by playing Madera South Wednesday Dec. 9 at 5 p.m., Kingsburg Thursday at 8 p.m., and Kerman Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Erik Peterson contributed to this story.