Yosemite High School’s varsity girls basketball team has built some momentum and another healthy winning streak heading into their first league game on Friday.
Yosemite High School was already riding a seven-game winning streak into the Steve Geramoni Invitational played at Notre Dame High School in Belmont from Dec. 20-22.
But the Badgers had that streak halted in their first invitational game, losing 53-43 to Woodside Priory High School. Woodside was led by 23 points scored Ila Lane, their 6-foot-4 center.
Grace Fries and Sophie McGoldrick had 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Yosemite responded to the loss with six consecutive victories--two of them coming in the same invitational.
On Dec. 21, the Badgers beat Washington High School 67-40, with Courtney Hart scoring 18, McGoldrick 15 and Fries 10.
The other invitational win came against Soquel High School (6-4). The Badgers were able to maintain a small lead the entire game and won 45-41.
Then the Badgers won four more games to take home the Gold Division Championship of the Savanna/Buena Park Tournament, which included 40 teams.
The Gold Division was the highest classification in the tournament, which was played at the Oxford Academy in Cypress, California.
The Badgers began the tournament on Dec. 26 against St. Joseph’s High School of Lakewood and wasted no time establishing their dominance over the Jesters.
Yosemite finished the first half with a 34-8 lead and coasted to a 65-27 victory. Sophomore Britney Allen led Yosemite scorers with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.
Other major scoring contributions came from seniors Linnea Leinau and McGoldrick with 11 points each and Fries with 10.
The second game came the following day against Orange Lutheran High School.
The Lancers were 10-3 entering the game. The Badgers took the first quarter 13-7 and went into halftime with a 22-20 lead.
Orange Lutheran pulled even 32-32 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but Yosemite pulled away in the 4th period thanks to Graffigna’s 8 points in the quarter with a 46-37 win.
McGoldrick carried the Badgers throughout the game and finished with 17 points on 5-6 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point line and 1-of-2 on free throws. Graffigna finished with 10 points and 7 assists.
The next day the Badgers took on the Golden Hawks from El Dorado High School in Placentia. The Hawks were 12-2 going into the game.
Kenedy Lilly, the Golden Hawks’ 6-foot-5 center, had 19 points, but the Badgers were able to contain the other players and build a 35-21 halftime lead that led to a 10-point victory.
Fries finished with 14 points and 4 made 3-point shots. Fries was followed by McGoldrick (11), Hart (9) and Leinau (8) in scoring.
In the Championship game, the Badgers faced Northview High School (14-2) from Covina.
The Badgers efficient fastbreak play led to another big 18-11 first quarter lead with center Courtney Hart making 3 baskets on her way to a game-leading 12 points.
Rich (11) was the only other Badger that scored in double-figures in a game that saw the team struggle offensively.
The team shot 36 percent from the field and 2-of-18 from beyond the arc.
But the team was able to counteract their offensive struggles with success on the defensive end, holding the Vikings to 43 points and just holding on to win 44-43.
The Championship was the second for the Badgers this season after winning the Piedmont Tournament earlier and also going 4-0 in the Clovis Showcase.
The Badgers have a 15-4 overall record and begin North Sequoia League at Sierra High School on Friday, followed by their first home NSL game on Jan. 9 against Liberty High School.