The Yosemite boys basketball team (18-8, 5-2 North Sequoia League) got two wins last week, and are now tied for second place in the NSL behind Kerman (17-7, 7-0 NSL).
On Feb. 5, the Badgers beat Liberty (11-14, 1-6 NSL) 67-51 at home in a loud Harry H. Baker Gym, led by center Kade Cross who had a season high 27 points, 11 rebounds, and eight blocked shots.
YHS finished one of their best first quarters of the season with a 20-10 lead, half those points coming from Cross.
The Hawks fought back and the Badgers went into halftime with a 30-24 lead. Cross led all scorers with 13 in the first half.
The Badgers then went on a 13-4 run paced by two 3-pointers from Cannon Eames to start the third quarter. The Badgers would outscore Liberty 19-13 in the quarter and had a comfortable 49-37 lead at the end of three.
YHS put the game away in the fourth quarter with another early burst. The YHS backups Brian Mularkey, Trevor Peter, and Alex Williams made a big impact.
Peter McLean had 10 points and eight rebounds for the night. Dylan Reitz led Liberty with 17 points.
YHS beats Sierra 54-51
On Feb. 3, the Badgers traveled to Sierra (5-16, 2-5 NSL), and got its first win in Tollhouse since 2008, 54-51 in overtime.
“Sierra is never easy, especially on the road,” said Erik Peterson, YHS assistant coach. “Sierra played tough defense and they really collapsed on Kade. They also took Washington Union into overtime. Sierra was a good test for us and a critical win.”
Sierra had a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Badgers would come back for a 23-21 halftime lead, and were ahead 36-32 at the end of the third quarter.
With the home crowd and defensive energy, the Chieftains forced their second overtime of the year. The Chieftains were poised for an upset, redemption, and a tie for third in the NSL, but it was not to be, as YHS came home with the 54-51 win.
Cross, doubled and triple-teamed most of the game, still managed 11 rebounds, seven points, seven blocks, four assists, and a steal. This is just the third out of 26 games this season that Cross has not scored in double-digits.
With all the focus on Cross, it gave Peter McLean the opportunity to have a great game with 19 points (7 of 12 from the floor), and 10 rebounds. It was McLean’s ninth double-double of the season.
“Peter brings it every game,” Peterson said. “He is the model of consistency and we rely on it.”
Tristan and Cannon Eames had 10 and nine points respectively. Tristan has scored in double-digits in 14 games this season. Cannon also had six rebounds and three crucial steals.
The Badgers made five critical 3-point shots during the game, two by sophomore Ty Peterson who also had six boards.
Clayton Ford led Sierra with 19 points.
Kerman secured a strong hold on the NSL with a 60-52 win over second place Washington Union (10-15, 5-2 NSL) last week. YHS is also 5-2 in the NSL but Union enjoys a tie-breaker advantage based on the 45-41 win over Yosemite on Jan. 22.
Union traveled to Yosemite on Wednesday for a key game (results not available at press time). The team goes to Chowchilla Friday, and ends NSL play Feb. 17 in Kerman, in preparation for the D-IV CIF Central Section playoffs.
JV team slpits games
The JV Badgers (11-9, 3-4 NSL) broke a three-game losing streak by defeating Sierra 66-63, after overcoming an 18-6 first quarter deficit.
Sophomore forward Noah Allen continued his dominance with a season-high 25 points, including three 3-point shots.
Tyler Mattyshock scored 15 points and led YHS with 13 rebounds. Jaeden Pierce had 11 points, including three 3-point shots.
On Friday the JV Badgers were defeated 68-57 by Liberty. Allen led the Badgers with 15 points.