The Yosemite High varsity and JV boys basketball teams got wins at Liberty High Feb. 3.
The varsity team (14-8, 5-1 North Sequoia League) beat the Hawks (12-13, 2-5 NSL) 57-51 and remain in the hunt for a share of the league championship with Kerman (18-7, 7-0 NSL).
Although the Badgers won the game, the team lost the services of senior point guard Tristan Eames who went down with a knee injury in the third quarter. He had 19 points and four steals prior to the injury and had back-to-back 32 point games prior to the Liberty game. The status of his return and severity of the injury was uncertain when the paper went to print Tuesday.
The win for the varsity team might have been one of the more memorable victories of the season. The Badgers have won six of seven and are positioning themselves for a Central Section D-IV playoff berth, and what made the win special is that the Badgers reserves had to pull this one out.
YHS was playing without suspended shooting guard and team leading scorer Cannon Eames. Things got more difficult when Tristan Eames left the game with a knee injury.
Yosemite was down 34-24 at halftime and came back in the second half. The Badgers outscored the Hawks 33-18 in the second half.
The Badgers shot a season-high 51% on 23 of 45 shooting. Yosemite did not make a 3-point shot for the first time this season.
With YHS down 3 points late in the third quarter, Ty Peterson took over at point guard. Peterson, a junior, playing in only his fourth game after he sustained a thigh injury in the CIF Central Section football semifinals game against Firebaugh on Nov. 25. Peterson is athletic, playing both ways as a linebacker and offensive tackle in football. His timing of his return to the court is big for the YHS basketball team. He had 5 assists in the game.
“Ty played well, but he didn’t try to do too much,” said his father, assistant coach Erik Peterson. “Ty has experience. He didn’t get rattled when Liberty pressed. He just got the ball to his teammates and had only two turnovers. Our team did the rest. We passed the ball well and really came together when we had to down the stretch.”
Senior power forward Peter McLean had a big night for the Badgers, scoring 18 points (7 of 10 shooting), getting 13 rebounds and 3 steals. It was McLean’s eighth double-double of the season and third in a row.
Center Ben Negley had 10 points and 11 rebounds earning his seventh double-double of the season. Noah Allen scored 6 points and Trevor Peter had 2 points and 4 rebounds.
Badgers beat Sierra 65-60
On Jan. 31 the Badgers beat the Sierra Chieftains (5-12, 2-4 NSL) 65-60.
For the second straight game, it was team captain and point guard Tristan Eames who was the difference, scoring 32 points. It was the second straight game that Eames has scored 32 points.
Sierra had an early 14-13 lead hitting three 3-point shots. The Chieftains built a 24-19 second quarter lead and went into halftime up 30-27. Sierra hit a total of 13 3-pointers in the game.
YHS pushed the lead to 55-45 early in the fourth, but Sierra fought back going on a 12-2 run. A Harry Blunt 3-pointer gave the Chieftains a 60-59 lead with 1:35 to go.
YHS scored on an Eames drive and dish to Ben Negley. From there YHS made crucial free-throws including two key points from Peter McLean and escaped with the win.
“I am really proud of this team, especially keeping our composure in the fourth quarter,” Coach Aaron Eames said. “Sierra is always a tough place to play. The crowd is loud and emotional. Records don’t matter, it is usually a great game and this one was.”
As a team YHS shot 24 of 61 for 39%. One of the keys was the play under the boards for the Badgers. YHS had a 50-31 rebounding advantage. The Badger front line of Negley, McLean, and Peter made life difficult for the Chieftains in the paint. Negley (15 rebounds), McLean (13), Ty Peterson (9), and Peter (5 rebounds and 8 points) led YHS in rebounds.
Negley and McLean each had double-doubles with Negley scoring 10 and McLean 12. Peterson led YHS with 5 assists.
Kevin Brandt led Sierra with 22 points along with six 3-pointers. Harry Blunt had 14 points connecting on four 3-pointers.
The Washington Union Panthers (7-17, 3-2 NSL) made the trip from Easton to Oakhurst Tuesday. Scores were not available at press time.
On Friday Yosemite hosts Chowchilla on Senior Night - girls JV game 3:30 p.m., boys JV 4:45, girls varsity 6, boys varsity 7:30. Seniors who will be recognized are Tristan Eames, Trevor Peter, Peter McLean and Alex Williams.
The Badgers are home Feb. 14 to face league leading Kerman (JV game 5:30 p.m. - varsity 7) and close out the season on the road Feb. 15 against Union.
JV team remains undefeated in league play
The Badger JV team (17-4, 6-0 NSL) beat Liberty 49-41 to remain undefeated in league play.
The game was tied at 30-30 at the end of the third quarter but the Badgers outscored the Hawks 19-11 in the fourth quarter to get the win.
“Liberty improved a great deal from our first meeting (a 69-33 YHS win on Jan. 17)” Head Coach Andy Medley said. “We really struggled to get into a rhythm offensively, but we worked hard as a team to create spacing in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win.”
Sophomore power forward Tyler Matyshock led YHS with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Center Christian Rold had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds., and point guard Jaeden Pierce had 9 points.
Since a 66-33 loss Jan. 3 to Clovis North the JV Badgers have reeled off 10 straight victories including a perfect 6-0 in NSL play.
“We are now facing the toughest part of our schedule,” Coach Andy Medley said. “We have two games with Union and a rematch with Kerman and Chowchilla. Our win streak will be put to the test.”