The Yosemite High girls varsity basketball team is in a unique position. Yes, they are in the playoffs - again. They are always in the playoffs. I sometimes think we take that for granted.
This year is different. This team is special. The Badgers are seeded No. 2 in the CIF Central Section D-II playoffs. The Badgers are 25-6 overall and have been ranked as high as No. 5 overall in the Central Section by the Fresno Bee. The Badgers are currently ranked No. 3 in D-II according to MaxPreps.com.
YHS captured another North Sequoia League title going 10-0 and are on an 11-game winning streak.
The team has not lost since a 60-50 defeat against a strong team from Colfax on Jan. 6 at the Yosemite Winter Shootout tournament. The loss was to a 23-4 Falcon team ranked No. 2 in D-V in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
After the 63-49 win over Tehachapi on Saturday, the Badgers will now host the No. 3 seed Mission Oak Hawks (22-6, 10-0) of Tulare at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Semi-Finals round.
It was the Hawks that beat the Badger’s 34-6 (NSL champs) volleyball team in the D-III volleyball championship game on Nov. 11 in Visalia. The year before, Mission Oak knocked Yosemite out of the volleyball Semi-Finals round.
The Hawks want nothing more than ending the Lady Badgers championship hopes in both volleyball and basketball in the same year.
Mission Oak’s volleyball play maker was 5-foot-7 senior Rhegan Fernandes who had 662 assists on the season. Now she leads her basketball team with 125 assists and is No. 2 on the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and steaks (59).
If the Badgers beat the Hawks, it’s on to Selland Arena for the Central Section D-II championship game at 6 p.m. on Friday - Most likely against the division’s No. 1 seed, Bakersfield - the team that beat Yosemite last year in the Semi-Finals.
I can tell you that fan support in the win over Tehachapi was huge. The Badgers were, putting it kindly, flat in the first half, but something changed in the second half. Maybe the little ‘pep-talk’ they received from Coach Gary Blate had something to do with it, but the team dug deep and became re-energized in the second half.
The support from the loud Badger fans was a big reason the team rallied. The Warriors of Tehachapi were physical and you can count on the Hawks playing the same way.
The Badger faithful can help this Badger team get to Selland Arena Friday. Be at the game Wednesday - and be loud.