The Yosemite High (16-14) and Minarets (18-5) girls basketball teams both reigned over their opponents Wednesday night in D-II and D-V first round action of the CIF Central Section playoffs.
The Lady Badgers, seeded No. 8 in D-II, hosted the No. 9 Selma Bears (15-5), and finished with a 47-36 victory on a 17-9 scoring run in the fourth quarter after being down a point at halftime (18-17).
Seniors Allie Stearns (12) and Ashlee Harrell (11) were Yosemite’s key contributors, combining for 23 points along with senior Jessica Fine for nine, freshman Hailey Rich six, senior Lynette Combs five, and both freshman Lilly Griffigna and Graces Fries with two each.
With the win, before a crowd of more than 400, Yosemite improved its winning streak to eight straight games.
Friday brings a tough 7 p.m. contest for the Lady Badgers, as they go on the road to face No. 1 seed Redwood (22-4) of Visalia, which had a bye Wednesday.
The Rangers are a powerhouse averaging 62 points a game compared to Yosemite’s 40 points per contest.
The Badgers, a more defensive-minded team, will need to focus on containing key Rangers scorers Madison Kast at center and forward, as well as guard Samantha Navarro. The two average nearly 34 points a game for the Rangers, while the top two Yosemite scorers, Stearns and Harrell, average around 20.
For the Minarets Mustangs (18-5), seeded No. 3 in D-V, cruised by the No. 14 Laton Mustangs (10-15) in a 51-32 win after a 30-18 lead at halftime.
The Mustangs relied on the scoring of Natalie Chamberlain with 17, and Danielle Johnson with 13, as well as Patricia Thomasian with eight. Other scorers included Kelea Kamalani with six, Kristy Berry at four, Ellery Meade with two, and Maddie Pearson with one point.
The Mustangs are heavy favorites in Friday’s 7 p.m. quarter finale game game at home as they face the No. 6 Fowler Redcats (16-11), a team the Mustangs have conquered four times this year.
In those four wins, the Mustangs bested the Redcats by an average 16.5 points a game, though Fowler got progressively better and finished with a 10-point loss Feb. 9 compared to a 27-point loss to Minarets Jan. 8.