Slow start for Lady Badgers

The Yosemite Varsity girls basketball team’s youth and inconsistency has resulted in a slow start for the traditionally competitive program.

The girls (3-5) opened the season with the annual Foundation Game Dec. 1 at Clovis. For the first time, the Foundation Game counts on the team’s record and statistics. The Yosemite team had some personnel issues going into the game, and playing time for some expected starters was limited.

The result was catastrophic as the girls fell behind 18-2 in the first quarter, and ended up losing 67-27 - a lopsided score not often experienced by a Yosemite team.

The results for the next game were not much better, as the Badgers faced the host Elk Grove team in an eight-team tournament and fell by a similar 64-28 score on Dec. 3.

Yosemite broke into the win column the next game against Laguna Creek with a 52-27 victory. Junior Katie Long had 12 points, while seniors Jessica Fine had 10, and Allie Stearns and Ashlee Harrell each had nine.

In the Dec. 5 consolation bracket finals against River City, the Badgers were defeated 54-36.

After regrouping in two days of practice, the Badgers opened the Hoover Holiday Tournament Dec. 10 with wins over Bullard 48-33, and 34-29 over a previously undefeated (5-0) Golden Valley team from Merced. In the Bullard game, Stearns led the way with 12 points and in the Golden Valley game Fine took scoring honors with 11 points.

The two wins placed the Badgers in the Gold bracket with the reward being matched up with last year’s D-I finalist Edison, featuring a front line with three players taller than 6-foot-1.

Yosemite countered with two 5-foot-10 players who did not play high school basketball last season.

Throw in Edison’s smothering press against Yosemite’s inexperienced ball handlers and the Badgers could not score a point in the first quarter while falling behind 21-0. The onslaught continued through the game until the final 64-14 score.

This weekend the Yosemite girls team (3-5) travels to Loomis, north of Sacramento, to play two games at the Del Oro High Tournament, followed by a Monday game at San Mateo College against Mercy High School of Burlingame.

The team will then participate in tournaments in Henderson, Nev. (Dec. 28 - 30), and at Buchanan High (Jan. 6 - 9). The team’s first home game is the opening of league a league play at home against Sierra on Jan. 15. JV game, 5 p.m. - Varsity 6:30 p.m..

YHS Correspondent