After falling behind 9-1, the Yosemite High girls basketball team (18-11, 8-1 North Sequoia League) came back to beat Monache High (20-9, 5-5 East Yosemite League) in Porterville Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Les Schwab Central Section D-II playoffs.
The No. 6 seed Badgers fell behind the No. 3 Marauders 9-0 to start the game, but were down by just one at the end of the first quarter, 16-15.
The Lady Badgers, a team made up primarily of sophomores, kept the game close and were behind at the half 27-26.
It was in the third quarter that the Badgers came to life and got an 8-point lead - a lead they stretched to 12 before Monache went on a 9-point run to close the gap to just 3 points. But the Badgers came back and ended the third quarter ahead 43-35.
The Badgers found their range at the free-throw line, sinking 13 of 19 in the fourth quarter to maintain the lead and win 56-48.
Two sophomores - Grace Fries and Sophie McGoldrick - were the game’s leading scorers with 16 points each. Another sophomore, Hailey Rich, contributed 7 points from eight free-throw attempts and sophomore point guard Lilly Graffigna added 6 from 8 attempts from the charity line in the second half.
Rounding out the scoring was junior Siena Oswald and senior Carly Baldwin (4 each), Trinity Curtis (2) and Linnea Leinai (1).
McGoldrick and Rich each had 10 rebounds, and Fries and Oswald had 8 each.
With the win, the Badgers advance to the semifinal round against the No. 2 seed Bakersfield High Drillers (22-3, 10-0 Southwest Yosemite League) in Bakersfield, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. The Drillers beat No. 10 Tehachapi 73-48 in the quarterfinals.
The Drillers are led by 5-foot-9 junior Taylor Caldwell, who averages 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals and 3 blocked shots a game.
The winner will most likely play the D-II No. 1 seed Independence High (26-3, 10-0 league) for the D-II championship game at 6 p.m., March 3 at Selland Arena in Fresno.
Independence beat No. 8 Shafter 61-38 and will play No. 4 Redwood Tuesday. Redwood beat No. 5 Selma 80-37 to advance to the semifinal round.
Season ends for Badger Boys
The season for the Yosemite High boys basketball team (15-11, 6-3 North Sequoia League) came to an end in Madera on Wednesday night as the Badgers fell to the Stallions of Madera South (18-10, 4-6 County-Metro League) 64-52.
Interim Head Coach Erik Peterson, along with JV coaches Andy and Charlie Medley, guided the Badgers Wednesday, after last week’s surprise resignation of Coach Aaron Eames.
Madera South jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led at the end of the first quarter by 13 points - 24-11, and at half 41-22. The Stallions still held a 19 point advantage, 51-32, at the end of the third. The Badgers outscored Madera South 20-13 in the fourth but by then the Stallions had many bench players in the game.
Turnovers plagued the Badgers as they gave up the ball 33 times, resulting in 18 points for Madera South.
Senior power forward Peter McLean played his last game as a Badger and it was another solid performance. McLean led YHS with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals. He recorded his 9th double-double of the season and will graduate as the all-time career rebounder in Yosemite High history with 788. McLean nearly averaged a double-double the entire season with 9.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Shooting guard Cannon Eames had 11 points as the Stallion defense held Eames to 10 points under his season average. Sophomore forward Tyler Matyshock, called up from the JV team to varsity for the Feb. 14 game at Kerman, had 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Center Ben Negley scored 8 points and had 2 rebounds, and senior forward Trevor Peter contributed 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Rounding out the Yosemite scoring were sophomores Noah Allen (3 points), Christian Rold (2) and junior Ty Peterson (2).
Other boys divisional results
Madera South moves on to the Feb. 24 division quarterfinals against No. 10 seed Bakersfield Christian, who defeated No. 7 Foothill 67-62.
North Sequoia League champs Kerman, seeded No. 3, defeated No. 14 seed Granite Hills 65-55 and will play at home tonight (Friday) against No. 11 Central Valley Christian, who upset No. 6 Sierra Pacific 72-56.
In D-V, the Liberty Hawks crushed Sierra 69-47 and will travel into the desert to face No. 1 seed California City Friday.
In D-III, No. 15 Washington Union Panthers were defeated by No. 2 Sanger 66-52.
The boys and girls Central Section Championships will be held at Fresno’s Selland Arena on March 3 and 4.