In what is a rebuilding year for the Yosemite Badgers girls basketball team (8-14, 1-2 North Sequoia League), fortunes went up and down last week.
A victory against Liberty at Madera Ranchos Ranchos 58-28 on Jan. 19 was split by a loss Jan. 22 at Washington Union 37-27.
At Liberty, Coach Gary Blate started four freshman - Lilly Grafiggna, Grace Fries, Sophie McGoldrick, and Hailey Rich. The fifth starter was sophomore Allison Bernardi.
That group played the entire first quarter which ended with the Badgers up 10-4.
The second platoon starting the second quarter consisted of seniors Lynette Combs, Jessica Fine, Allie Stearns, and Ashlee Harrell joined by another sophomore, Siena Oswald. That group extended the lead to 25-11 at halftime.
The two squads split playing time in the third and fourth quarters. The two Badger lineups combined for 23 points in the third quarter, pulling away from the Hawks.
Leading scorers for YHS were Harrell and Fine with 14 and 10 points respectively.
The loss to Washington Union was the first Badgers defeat to the Panthers in 11 years. Prior to the game, Yosemite had never lost to the Panthers since the teams were joined in the NSL in 2005.
Stearns, the team’s leading scorer, got a foul early in the first quarter then picked up three more in the third period after the Badgers built an 18-14 halftime lead.
Without Stearns playing for most of the second half, the Yosemite offense could not find the basket, making only three field goals in the second half.
The team is home Friday to play Kerman. The team played Chowchilla Tuesday (scores not available at press time), and is at home Friday for a 6:30 p.m. game against Kerman. Round two of league play begins Feb. 2 when Sierra visits Yosemite. The Badgers get a chance for revenge against Union at home on Feb. 21.