The Yosemite High Badgers girls basketball team is looking forward to the regular season after a successful summer season - highlighted by the team’s impressive second place finish in the 24-team Providence Burbank Tournament last weekend.
In June, the team won a tournament in Selma, along with games at Reedley and Mariposa, and had winning records at tournaments in Rocklin and Ventura.
In Burbank for the first time all summer the team featured the five starters from last season in point guard Lilly Graffigna, shooting guard Grace Fries, power forwards Sophie McGoldrick and Hailey Rich, all juniors next season, and Siena Oswald, who will be a senior and the returning North Sequoia League Defensive Player of the Year.
Filling out the team were four incoming freshman - Britney Allen, Jenna Kurz, Emma Graffigna and Lauren Bernardi.
With the help of 21 points Fries and 14 from Lilly Graffigna, the Badgers opened the Burbank tournament with a 48-28 win over Santa Clara of Oxnard, which placed them in the Gold Pool.
Two more wins, over John Burroughs (Burbank), 38-30, and South Torrance, 50-41, placed the Lady Badgers in the final four. Grace had 10 points against John Burroughs and 24 against South Torrance. Lilly Graffigna and McGoldrick added 10 points each.
In the semifinal match, Yosemite faced powerhouse Camarillo (2,400 student body), a team that won 30 games last season and lost in the CIF playoffs in overtime to Rosary, the team that won a D-III State Championship.
In a close game the Badgers held on to win the game 44-42 in the last eight seconds of the game when Lilly Graffigna went coast to coast for the winning basket. Fries hit three 3-point shots in a row in crunch time to keep the Badgers in the game while the power trio of McGoldrick, Rich and Oswald had five points and eight rebounds each. Fries finished the night with 21 points and Graffigna added 11.
The finals found the Badgers playing a strong D-I program. It was a close game till the end when the Badgers lack of varsity depth caught up to them, losing to CHS 34-24. The second place finish was quite impressive considering the competition.
The girls had a great time in Los Angeles going to an Escape Room, an Urban Cafe, Griffith Observatory, walked down Hollywood Avenue, Getty Art Museum, ate lunch at UCLA and went to the downtown Farmers Market.
Players who did not make the Burbank Tournament trip included Allison Bernardi and Kelsey Montalto, both seniors who contributed in the Rocklin and Ventura Tournaments, Trinity Curtis who scored 20 points in the Mariposa game, and recuperating players Linnea Leinau and Keylee Andersen.
Road trip to Colgate University and Broadway
The Badgers wrap up the summer season in two weeks when 10 players are going on a five day, four night trip to Colgate University in upstate New York. The trip will include a two night visit to New York City and Broadway shows. The girls have earned money for the trip through various fundraisers and thank the community for its support.
In a separate fundraising effort, money is being raised to purchase new scoreboards for the YHS gym. The main scoreboard will feature an electronic message board.