Sports

Lions beat Lady Badgers for share of NSL title

Yosemite junior Siena Oswald, shown in an earlier game against Liberty, had 9 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort against Kerman last night (Feb. 15).
Yosemite junior Siena Oswald, shown in an earlier game against Liberty, had 9 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort against Kerman last night (Feb. 15). Sierra Star File Photo

Shooting a lackluster and uncharacteristic 12 of 58 (20.6%) from the field, including 0 for 9 from 3-point range, the Yosemite High girls basketball team (18-11, 9-1 NSL) had its run for an undefeated league season stopped one game short last night - with a 48-38 home court defeat at the hands of Kerman (25-5, 9-1 NSL).

In the previous nine NSL games, the Lady Badgers had the leading shooting percentage in D-II of the Central Section, at 65%.

The two teams split league games this season with the Badgers beating the Lions 50-46 in Kerman on Jan. 27. They now share the North Sequoia League title.

For Kerman’s Head Coach Corinne DenHartog, a 2010 graduate of Buchanan High in Clovis, sharing a league title in her first season as a head coach was beyond exciting.

“It’s almost beyond words,” DenHartog said. “ I’m so happy for my girls, especially my six seniors who all had phenomenal games tonight.”

For Coach Gary Blate, who has more than 500 career basketball wins to his credit, his Yosemite girls team has now shared or won outright the league title 13 of the past 15 seasons.

Wednesday’s game against Kerman started out slow, with the first score coming after four minutes of play, when Kerman’s 5-foot-2 guard Sierra Perez hit a 3-point shot. She went on to hit two more threes and scored 14 points in the game.

After a free throw by Yosemite’s Grace Fries, Kerman went on a 7 point run to take an early 10-1 lead, the the Badgers came back with the first quarter ending with Kerman ahead 12-9.

In addition to Perez, two other Kerman players scored double figures, freshman Bre Hurt led all scorers with 16 and senior Kaitlyn Guizar had 11, including three 3-pointers.

In addition to the six 3-pointers, a big difference in the game was the clutch free throw shooting of Hurt, who hit 11 of 14.

Leading scorers for Yosemite were sophomore Fries and junior Siena Oswald, with 9 each. Senior Carly Baldwin scored 6 as did sophomore Hailey Rich, including 4 of 4 free throws.

Oswald also had 16 rebounds in the game, sophomore Sophie McGoldrick had 9 and Rich had 7.

Sophomore Lilly Graffigna had four points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds.

Yosemite will advance to the Central Section D-II playoffs and Kerman will advance to the D-IV playoffs. Seedings will be announced Saturday.

For details, see the Feb. 23 edition of the Sierra Star.

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