Yosemite loses to Sierra Pacific 55-48

The Yosemite High Badger basketball team (3-7) started the new year losing to Hanford’s Sierra Pacific (6-8) at home Jan. 3, 55-48.

The Badgers held a 26-22 first half lead, but the Golden Bears of the East Sequoia League roared back owning the second half. Senior guards Jose Frias and Guillermo Ferrer combined for 26 points to lead Sierra Pacific.

Center Kade Cross scored 25 for the Badgers, followed by Tristan Eames with 9, and Aaron Bausch with 6.

“We just couldn’t hold on in the second half,” Coach Stephen Lopez said. “I’m disappointed in the loss but we still had a good effort.”

YHS goes 1-2 at the Monte Vista Christian Tournament

During the Christmas break, the Badgers participated in the four-team Monte Vista Christian Basketball tournament in Santa Cruz Dec. 29 to 31.

The Badgers opened the tournament playing the Christian Patriots of El Cajon (8-4), coached by Brad Bristol, who lead his team to a 52-34 win over Yosemite.

“Christian was a very physical team, which we always have problems with,” Lopez said. “They double downed on Kade (Cross) and no one else but Tristan (Eames) was able to produce much offensively. We only took 12 shots from the field and were 7 of 12 from the line.”

Cross scored nine points, his lowest output of the season. It was the first time Cross has not scored in double figures in 10 games this season. Sophomore point guard Eames led Yosemite with 11 points.

The Patriots led from start to finish, outscoring the Badgers in every quarter. The Pats took a 25-16 halftime lead, outscoring YHS 18-5 in the pivotal third quarter.

The next day the Badgers bounced back and defeated International High (3-6) of San Francisco 66-53. The Jaguars are coached by Frank Williams and play in the North Coast Section.

“We played a good game from start to finish,” Lopez said. “We played consistent and Kade got back on track with an amazing performance. When he scores we are in any game.”

Cross had a monster game that more than made up for the Christian game, scoring 32 points, along with 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocked shots. It was the best game of the season for Dylan Rounsivill, scoring 9 points, and getting four steals.

“He (Rounsivill) will be huge for us if he can contribute like this consistently” Lopez said.

Eames had 11 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds, and Chase Lassos had 8 points and 2 steals.

The Badgers closed out the tournament with a 48-45 loss to Averroes High Falcons of Fremont (9-12), an Islamic school founded in 2010. The Falcons play in the Freelance League, a 7-school league of college prep high schools in the South Bay Area.

“We played poorly defensively,” Lopez said. “Offensively as a team we were 20 of 70 from the floor. That might be our lowest shooting percentage this season, but we still had some standout performances. I thought Jordan Matoud had his best game this year. He had a great shooting night.”

YHS jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first quarter and took a 23-20 lead into halftime, but Averroes outscored Yosemite 28-22 in the second half to get the win.

Cross led YHS again scoring 19 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Power forward sophomore Peter McLean had his best performance of the season, scoring 8 points and getting 13 rebounds. Matoud had 9 points and 5 rebounds. The Falcons were led by Muhammad Gilchrist who scored 38 points. Gilchrist scored 17 of the Falcons 20 points in the first half.

Badgers host Mustangs

Time is ticking away for the Yosemite Minarets showdown on Jan. 14 at Yosemite High. Although both teams have met in pre-season scrimmages, this is the first time the schools have played each other in a regular game.

“We are really looking forward to the game,” Minarets Coach Paul Varner said. “It should be fun game, and the community interest it will generate will be great.”

Yosemite and Minarets have played each other in soccer and volleyball and each game was well attended and spirited. The Harry S. Baker Gym could be full for the first time in a while.

Minarets is in “a rebuilding year” Varner said. The Mustangs have struggled this season and have an overall 1-10 record.

“We lost 7 seniors last year, but we still have some great parts,” said Varner, who is in his third season and has taken his teams into the D-VI playoffs the last two seasons. Minarets starts two sophomores, two juniors and a senior. Losing the leadership and experience of last year’s seniors certainly makes it a transition year for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs have strength on the inside. They are led by 6-foot-4 junior center Mason Ellis. Ellis is averaging a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds per game. Ellis is a multi-sport athlete, having recently been named to the first team All League in the West Sequoia League as a wide receiver. The inside match-up between Ellis and Cross should be worth the price of admission.

Minarets is also athletic inside with senior forward Sam Delk who can score inside and out. Delk has a season high 19 and averages 10 points per game. Junior Kaleb Fausone can play the small forward and shooting guard and is quick.

“Kaleb works hard out on the court,” Varner said. “He was all-tourney at the Hawk Classic at Liberty, and is improving every game.”

Delk and Fausone will match up with McLean and Lassos. The Badger “bigs” are strong on the boards, and the Badgers gets most of its scoring inside.