Due to inclement weather, the Central Section D-II girls basketball play-off game between the No. 2 seed Yosemite (23-6, 10-0 NSL) and the No. 7 seed Tehachapi (13-13, 3-7) originally scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight (Friday), has been rescheduled to 5 p.m. tomorrow night (Saturday) at Yosemite in the Harry Baker Gymnasium.
Tehachapi’s leading scorer and rebounder are both sophomores - Teagan Thurman is averaging 16.6 points per game and Taylor Linzie averages 10.4 rebounds per game.
If the Badgers win, they will play at home on Wednesday, Feb. 28, against the winner of the No. 6 seed Redwood (16-10, 10-2) of Visalia and No. 3 seed Mission Oak (21-6, 10-0) of Tulare.
The D-II Central Section Championship game will be played at 6 p.m. on Feb. 2 in Fresno’s Selland Arena.
The Bakersfield High Drillers (18-4, 9-1) are the No. 1 seed in the division. The team’s leading scorer is 5-foot-10 senior Taylor Caldwell averaging 13.1 points per game with junior McKenna Hziung the team’s second leading scorer (12.1 ppg).
The Badgers lost to the Drillers 56-43 last year in the semi-finals round, and then Independance High beat Bakersfield for the D-II section title.
There’s a good chance Yosemite and Bakersfield could meet for the section title if the Badgers get by Tehachapi and Mission Oak. It was Mission Oak that defeated the Badger’s volleyball team in the semi-finals round of the D-II volleyball playoffs this past season.
History with Tehachapi
The Badgers and Coach Gary Blate have a history with the Tehachapi Warriors. In 2004, Yosemite won a CIF Championship winning a tough semi-final game at Tehachapi.
The Warriors had many reasons to win that game and were playing in front of a large home crowd. The schools had met in the CIF football finals that fall and the Tehachapi fans repeatedly pointed to the CIF football championship banner hanging in the Tehachapi gym as the Warriors opened up a double digit lead in the fourth quarter.
A made 3-pointer and a 5-point play on a breakaway layup (foul and technical foul), brought Yosemite within striking distance with 2 minutes to go in the game.
Another Yosemite 3-point shot and two field goals on successive trips down the court quieted the Tehachapi bleachers as the Badgers beat the Warriors and went on to the CIF Finals and four straight CIF Championships.
The Badgers and Warriors faced each other the next season in the CIF Finals, the first time being played at Selland Arena. The Warriors were out for revenge and with a much bigger team had a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
But four 3-point shots by four different Yosemite players plus three free throws brought the Badgers another come from behind victory.
The teams played another semi-final game in 2008 with Yosemite leading all the way and winning 52-38.
team to have its shooting go cold - against Kerman, the team made just 2 of 19 three-point shots in the game and only 2 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter, still managing to win by double digits.