The Yosemite High Badgers (5-3) ended their three-game appearance at the Hawk Classic Basketball Tournament at Liberty-Madera Ranchos Dec. 17 with a 62-47 win over Tranquility.
It was the second time this season the Badgers beat the Tigers. On Dec. 1 in its first home game of the season, the Badgers won 82-56.
YHS led 19-6 after the first quarter and went into halftime up 37-15. Cannon Eames scored 25 and brother Tristan added 18. Peter McLean had 19 rebounds while scoring 9 points.
Alex Williams had 6 points and 3 rebounds. Forward Trevor Peter led YHS with 5 assists and 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
Yosemite over Strathmore 77-55
On Dec. 16 the Badgers soundly defeated the Spartans of Strathmore 77-55.
The starting backcourt of the Eames brothers had another big night with Cannon scoring a season-high 33 points and Tristan scoring 23. Most of those points came with drives into the paint.
Cannon’s drives took him to the free throw line 15 times where he connected on 11 of them. He also had 10 rebounds and 6 steals in what may be his best overall varsity performance to date.
Tristan was 4 of 6 on free-throws and led YHS with 3 assists.
McLean had another outstanding performance with 14 points and 16 rebounds. As a team YHS shot only 33% from the field connecting on 27 of 83 attempts. The Badgers owned the boards pulling down 44 rebounds.
Strathmore made a game of it until the fourth period. The Spartans were missing four starters who were playing in the CIF state D-VI championship football game where host Strathmore lost a heart-breaking 29-28 game to St. Joseph-Vallejo on Dec. 17.
Minarets defeats Yosemite 40-36
Yosemite, playing without three starters, opened the tournament Dec. 15 with a 40-36 loss to Minarets.
The team’s two leading scorers and playmakers, Cannon and Tristan Eames, sat out the Minarets game due to a one-game suspension for an altercation in the Dec. 7 game in Kingsburg and Ben Negley was out with an injury. Minarets was missing its third-leading scorer Christian Conti. Both teams held each other to season-scoring lows.
Yosemite had been averaging 73 points per game. Mustang Coah Paul Varner used a trapping-press defense on inbound plays and without its normal ball-handlers the YHS offense struggled to get set up.
The senior-laden Mustangs made fewer mistakes and applied defensive pressure all game which led to Yosemite committing a season-high 37 turnovers. With less experienced players on the court, YHS shot a season-low 29%, connecting only 13 times on 45 attempts.
Mustang senior guard James Backmann and senior center Grant Denney led Minarets with 10 points each. Senior forward Hunter Thompson had four points, five blocks and key rebounds.
The Badger bench players, forced into starting roles, had solid performances. The Badger subs would score 33 of the Badgers 36 points. Junior Brian Mularkey led the Badgers and all scorers with a season-high 15 points connecting on three 3-pointers.
Sophomore Noah Allen, in his first varsity start had 7 points, all in the first half and led YHS with 3 steals and 2 assists. Sophomore Christian Rold had 5 points and 5 rebounds.
A bright spot for YHS was forward Peter McLean who pulled down 23 rebounds, 18 on the defensive end. It ties the second best all-time rebounds in a game in school history. McLean owns the mark of 24 in a game last year.
At the end of the fourth quarter Badger reserve center/forward Alex Williams scored four points and made key defensive stops. With 21 seconds left YHS was down only 38-36. From there Backmann dished to Luke Pritchett who hit the final shot to preserve the Mustang win.
Liberty (8-1) defeated Minarets 57-47 to win the tournament. Liberty visits YHS for a league game on Jan. 17.
McLean averaged a staggering 19 rebounds a game, earning him All-Tournament honors.
Rematch Dec. 22
Both Yosemite and Minarets are expected to be at full strength and a large crowd is expected for a 7 p.m. rematch Dec. 22 at Yosemite. The JV teams play at 5:30.
The Badgers travel to Santa Maria for a tournament Dec. 27-29, returning home to host Fresno Christian on Jan. 11. North Sequoia League play opens at Sierra on Jan. 13.