Sports

Lady Badgers host play-off game Thursday

The Yosemite High girls varsity basketball team was crowned co-champions of the North Sequoia League Feb. 18, after beating Kerman on 56-32. The Badgers shared the title with Sierra with both teams going 9-1 in League after beating each other on the road.

In the past 13 seasons, coinciding with Coach Gary Blate’s tenure, the Badgers have won nine league championships outright and shared three with Sierra. During those 13 seasons the Badgers have accumulated a league record of 124-10.

For the first time, the regular season ended on a Wednesday so the CIF could complete its seedings which came out Saturday. Yosemite received the No. 4 seed and will play at 7 p.m., Thursday, at home. The Lady Badgers will face the winner of the Feb. 24 Selma - Madera game.

The Badgers last home CIF play-off game was a 52-47 lost to Madera in the 2012 playoffs. Yosemite had beaten Madera in a regular season game that year. This season, Madera had won the regular season matchup 56-36 and the Coyotes were higher ranked for most of the year until a late season loss to Sanger and a lower strength of schedule rating put Yosemite at the higher seed. The same thing happened to the Badgers last season when they received a lower seed than Tulare Western, a team Yosemite had beaten.

Yosemite, Madera and Selma are all 18-9 on the season with the Coyotes going 5-5 in league play, losing twice to Bullard and Edison, while Selma was 8-2, losing twice to the two-time defending D-V champions from Immanuel. Selma has split the last two defending D-III championships with Sierra. Madera’s last CIF Championship was a D-1 championship in 2003.

One of the Yosemite’s signature wins under Blate was the next season (2004) when the Badgers dismantled the defending champs at home and the Badgers went on to win four straight CIF Central Section crowns.

Sierra received the No. 2 seed and Redwood is No. 3.

If it happened, a Yosemite-Sierra rematch would take place in Fresno’s Selland Arena on Friday, March 6.

Four score double figures against Kerman

In the Kerman game, the Badgers had four players in double figures with Veronica Miller leading the way with 13 points. Allie Stearns had 12 points, and Taylor Burrall and Mattaya Brown each scored 10. Burrall was called for four fouls in the first half and had to sit out the entire third quarter, finishing with 5 blocks to remain in the section lead and No. 2 in the state in that category.

- Staff Report

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