Poor shooting and a lack of a consistent inside game lead to a 48-38 defeat Feb. 15 at home to co-league champion Kerman.
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 by Kerman.
The Badgers were behind throughout the first half, but closed to a 32-29 deficit at the end of the third quarter before falling back in the final period. Yosemite failed to make a 3-point shot in the game in 10 attempts and shot 14 of 24 from the free throw line, below their usual percentage while Kerman was 71% on free throws and made eight 3-point shots. Given those statistics, it’s a feat that the game remained close.
The only Badger in double figures was Grace Fries with 10 points, while Siena Oswald had 16 rebounds.
With the leading four scorers only sophomores, the Yosemite girls basketball team overcame early season struggles to win its own tournament in January, and then ran off nine straight wins in league to win a share of the North Sequoia League Championship.
The Feb. 10 game with Chowchilla was canceled because of flash flood warnings. Yosemite had beaten Chowchilla 60-31 earlier in the year.
Playoff game Thursday in Porterville
The loss to Kerman did not affect the D-II rankings as the Badgers were given the No. 6 seed, a first round bye and a game on Thursday versus the No. 3 seed Monache High of Porterville. The teams played early in the season with Monache prevailing 49-36.
“I like our chances at Monache on Thursday, we are much improved and learned a valuable lesson with the loss to Kerman” Head Coach Gary Blate said. “The game had a playoff atmosphere and if you don’t prepare and bring your best game, your season is going to end. Getting the bye gives us the opportunity to work hard in practice and that loss gives motivation not only for the playoffs but for next season. Kerman’s two 6-footers are underclassmen and will be similarly motivated for next season.”
Kerman received the No. 3 seed in D-IV. The winner of the Yosemite-Monache game will likely play the No. 2 seed at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28 in Bakersfield.