The Yosemite High basketball team (19-9, 7-3 North Sequoia League) figured three would be a charm. Facing league leading Kerman (20-7, 10-0 NSL) twice this season, YHS lost a close one in December and were blown out at home in January. It was time for payback in the third meeting of the two schools Feb. 17, but after leading throughout most the game, the Badgers could not hang on as Kerman won 71-65.
YHS faced a sold-out crowd in Kerman celebrating senior night in the last league game for both schools.
The Lions were helped by Yosemite starters Kade Cross and Cannon Eames fouling out with three minutes to go.
Cross left the game with 22 points, four blocks, three assists, and three steals. Eames connected on four 3-pointers and had 14 points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists.
The Badgers received the No. 10 seeding in the Central Section D-IV playoffs and traveled to No. 7 seed Coalinga (21-6) Wednesday for round one. Coalinga defeated YHS 61-44 on Dec. 12, at the Kingsburg Tournament. The score of Wednesday’s game was not available at press time but will be posted online here at www.sierrastar.com.
The Badgers are enjoying their best season since 2005-2006 where they finished 20-5 overall.
Against Kerman, the Badger’s inside game dominated early. Cross had eight points in the first quarter. The Badger defense had key stops, and YHS led 14-11 after the first quarter.
The Badgers maintained their slim advantage going into halftime. At one point, YHS built a 31-18 lead midway through the second quarter. Cannon Eames got hot and hit two 3-pointers, but 3’s by Kerman senior Anthony Pacheco kept Kerman close. YHS led 26-23 at the half.
Yosemite held off a Lion rush early in the third quarter as Kerman’s Brandon Smith and Cross traded buckets, with the quarter ending with YHS up 52-49.
Kerman would come back in the fourth quarter with a 22-12 run against the Badgers for the win.
Kerman’s David Rico, the league leading scorer scored the last eight Kerman points (24 total) and the Lions earned a hard-fought contest to secure an undefeated NSL season and a No. 5 seed in the Central Section D-IV playoffs.
Tristan Eames had a big game scoring 15 points, most on drives in the paint. He had a season-high seven assists and played tough defense. Peter McLean had 13 points and led YHS with 11 rebounds. Ben Negley and Ty Peterson each had six boards.
Badger JV lose 42-30
The Badger JV team (12-11, 4-6 NSL) lost its final game of the season to Kerman 42-30. Despite the loss, it was a successful season for first year coach Charlie Medley’s team.
The game was close most of the way, with Kerman having the lead at halftime 21-19.
YHS led 26-24 at the end of the third quarter. The Lions put the Badgers away in the fourth outscoring YHS 18-4.
Freshman guard Jaeden Pierce led YHS with 12 points. Tyler Mattyschock had nine points and led all players with a season-high 17 rebounds.