Yosemite’s (15-6, 1-0 North Sequoia League) rival Sierra saw first hand what a nationally ranked 3-point shooter looks like last Friday - as junior Grace Fries calmly walked onto the Chieftains court in Tollhouse and connected on seven 3-pointers in the Badger’s 66-45 win.
It was the opening North Sequoia League game for both teams.
Fries performance moved her from No. 14 to No. 9 in the country for 3-point shots made (82). No. 1 in the country is Allison Ayala, a senior at Covina High with 129. Six players in the top 50 nationally are from California
Fries is No. 2 in the state behind Ayala and No. 1 in the Central Section according to maxpreps.com.
The 5-foot-6 Fries made her seven 3-point shots on 18 attempts and was the game’s leading scorer with 26 points.
Another junior, 5-foot-10 Sophie McGoldrick, has found her shooting touch and made four 3-point shots on 9 attempts, finishing the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was her third double-double in the last four games.
Fries and McGoldrick are not year-long basketball players - they both were members of the Yosemite water polo team that went undefeated in league play and advanced to the second round of the Central Section D-III playoffs. At the end of the season, McGoldrick was the NSL MVP, after scoring 122 goals, making her the No. 1 scorer in Northern California. Fries was an NSL First Team All-League selection.
A third junior, 5-foot-10 Hailey Rich added a 3-pointer and had 10 points total and 11 rebounds for her third double/double in the last four games.
Four 3-pointers in first quarter
The Badgers, currently ranked No. 8 overall in the Central Section, jumped out to a 17-12 first quarter lead as Fries and McGoldrick hit two 3-point shots each. Yosemite stretched the lead to 38-28 at halftime.
Yosemite outscored Sierra in both the third and fourth quarters resulting in the 21 point margin of victory.
Two other juniors, Lilly Grafigna and Linnea Leinau, added four points each. Graffigna, the 5-foot-4 point guard who leads the team is assists (122), had 6 against Sierra. Graffigna is No. 18 in the state for assists per game with 5.8. The state leader is Kylie Chen of Berean Christian in Walnut Creek with 10.6 per game (127).
Two seniors, Allison Bernardi and Siena Oswald, who alternate in the double post with Rich, each contributed with 4 points.
The North Sequoia League will be tough this season as 5 of the teams have winning records and Liberty was 9-9 entering league action.
On Jan. 19 the team travels to Easton to play the much improved Washington Union Panthers (15-3), and on Jan. 23, the Badgers will be home against the Chowchilla Tribe (12-4). The team will take on Kerman (13-6) at home of Jan. 26. Last year Kerman shared the league championship with Yosemite and return their top player, 6-foot sophomore Breanna Hurt.
Yosemite is currently in the #2 spot in the CIF Division 2 rankings and needs to keep winning to maintain that position and play at home until the Finals at the Selland Arena. The Badgers last appeared in the Finals in 2011 and in the last four years have had to travel to Kern or Tulare County for semi-final losses. last year against Bakersfield, which is the current No. 1 team in the D-II Central Section.
Home schedule for girls and boys
Jan. 23 vs. Chowchilla - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
Jan. 26 vs. Kerman - JV 3:30 p.m. / varsity 6
Jan. 30 vs. Sierra - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
Feb. 2 vs. Liberty - JV 3:30 p.m. / varsity 6
Feb. 6 vs. Washington Union - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
Jan. 24 vs. Chowchilla - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
Jan. 26 vs. Kerman - JV 4:45 p.m. / varsity 7:30
Jan. 31 vs. Sierra - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
Feb. 2 vs. Liberty - JV 4:45 p.m. / varsity 7:30
Feb. 7 vs. Washington Union - JV 5 p.m. / varsity 6:30
NOTE: All four Yosemite teams play when home on Fridays (Jan. 26, Feb. 2).