Gary Blate, Yosemite High girls basketball coach, never shies away from tough competition, especially at the beginning of a season. Last Friday Yosemite went on the road and defeated the Buchanan Bears 43-35. It was the second straight defeat of a Clovis program by the Badgers. On Dec, 11, the Badgers defeated Clovis East 53-45. The Badgers are now 4-4 for the season. Yosemite’s four losses were to teams with a combined 24-9 record.
“We had a good week,” Blate said. “We went 2-0 against tough Clovis competition. With Buchanan, we went out front early and never relinquished the lead. We are definitely coming together as a team.”
The Badgers led 11-7 after one quarter and went into halftime up 20-15. The teams played even in the third period but the Badgers outscored the Bears 12-8 in the fourth quarter to take the game.
The Badgers didn’t have a great shooting night hitting only 15 of 38 shots. YHS was 2-9 from beyond the arc.
Junior Allie Stearns led the Badgers with 12 points. Stearns also led YHS with four steals. Senior Veronica Miller had 11 points, led YHS with six boards, and had two assists and two steals. Senior Mattaya Brown had 9 points and led YHS with five assists. Junior Ashlee Harrell scored 6 points and added 4 assists. Senior Jessica Rudd had three and senior Taylor Burrall two to complete the scoring.
The team is playing high level competition and are improving with each game in preparation for the Jan. 16 North Sequoia League opener at rival Sierra.
“We are improving every game,” Veronica Miller said. “We needed to cut down on our turnovers and we did that against Buchanan. Our top scorer (Taylor Burrall - 12.1 points per game average)only had two points, but everyone else stepped up. Taylor is a force inside and she gets a lot of attention defensively and it really opens up our perimeter game.”
Miller is also having another outstanding season. Currently Miller is second on the team in scoring (10.6 per game), second in rebounding (8.4 per game), and third in steals (2 per game).
Southern California Holiday Prep Classic
Yosemite will get a few days rest but will hit the road to play in another prestigious tournament - the Southern California Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego. The 55-team tournament will run from Dec. 26 - 30. The tournament showcases some of the best high school teams from across the nation, many from California.
“We are really excited to play in this tournament,” Blate said. “We will be in a 16-team bracket and will play four games. Tournaments like these really show a team where they are. It really preps us for league and playoffs.”
The Badgers next home game will be a league contest against Liberty-Madera Ranchos at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21. The JV team will play at 5:30 p.m.
- Yosemite High Correspondent