The Yosemite High boys basketball team (19-8, 7-2 North Sequoia League) avenged an earlier loss to Washington Union (10-17, 5-4 NSL), defeating the Panthers 42-40 in Oakhurst Feb. 10, followed by a 45-40 win Feb. 12 at Chowchilla (8-20, 2-7 NSL).
The two wins guaranteed Yosemite second place in the NSL.
The win at Chowchilla was the fourth in a row for YHS. It is the most since the 20-win 2006-2007 season.
“We had a great week,” Coach Aaron Eames said. “The wins were not easy. Our team dug deep and played tough defense. Our team defense was the key in both games. To hold these two teams to 40 points was amazing.”
Eames said both games last week had the feel of playoff games.
“These are the types of games we will see in the playoffs,” Eames said.
Kerman, who remains undefeated in league (9-0), hosted the Badgers Wednesday in the last league game of the season for both teams (scores not available at press time).
Badgers defeat Washington Union on Senior Night
The Feb. 10 win against Union was the first since the 2009 season. It was also Senior Night celebrating Yosemite’s lone senior, 6-foot-7 center Kade Cross, playing in his final regular season home game. Unless the Badgers secure a home playoff berth, this was the last night the Badger faithful would see one of the greatest basketball players in Badger history.
Cross was limited to 11 points, but had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Junior point guard Tristan Eames stepped up scoring a game high 16 points, to go with two assists and a steal.
YHS held a 42-40 lead with six seconds left in the game. A Union guard drove the lane for the last shot of the night to tie the game, but his shot rolled off the rim.
Peter McLean, who is the league’s third leading rebounder (10.3 pga), had seven points and nine rebounds. Cannon Eames had four points and five steals, and sophomore Ty Peterson had five rebounds and two points.
YHS was bolstered by the return of forward Ben Negley who had been out three weeks with a foot injury.
YHS limited Union guard Trae Ellsberry to just nine points, after he scored 23 against the Badgers on Jan. 22.
Badgers beat Chowchilla 45-40
Yosemite went into the Chowchilla gym after an emotional win against Union.
With just eight players, Yosemite earned the 45-40 win.
“I wasn’t sure we were going to get this win to be honest,” Coach Eames said. “We really needed our bench players to step up and they did. Chowchilla is better than their record. They had the crowd and were motivated. The atmosphere was like a playoff game.”
The Redskins had the lead for three quarters, but Yosemite outscored CHS 14-8 while hitting key shots and free-throws down the stretch. The Badgers conditioning showed and all eight players contributed. Chowchilla looked tired in the fourth and YHS took advantage.
As he has done all season, Cross led Yosemite with 19 points, making nine of his 11 field goal attempts (82%), his highest shooting percentage of the season. He had 20 rebounds, 15 of those on the defensive end, and five blocked shots.
According to maxpreps.com, Cross leads the NSL with 4.1 blocks per game, is second in rebounds (10.6 pga), and third in points (15.4 pga).
Tristan Eames had nine points, four assists, and two steals. He is fourth in the league in assists (3.4 pga), and fifth in points (11.9 pga).
Cannon Eames had a big night both on the offensive and defensive ends, scoring eight points, grabbing eight rebounds, and six steals, two in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. He is third in the league in steals (2.9 pga).
Negley, playing his second game back from injury, had four points and eight rebounds.
Reserves Brian Mularkey and Noah West also contributed off the bench. Ty Peterson and Alex Williams didn’t score but had five and six rebounds respectively.
The Badgers now await the upcoming CIF Central Section D-IV playoff seedings that will be released Friday. Maxpreps.com has the Badgers at No. 9 in the Central Section for D-IV teams. Kerman is at No. 6, with Immanuel of Reedley (20-5) at the No. 1 spot.
JV team beats Union 56-52
The Badger JV team (12-10, 4-5 NSL) avenged an 18 point blowout at Union with a 56-52 win, but could not get the second win in the week, losing to Chowchilla 36-32.
Throw out the 18 point loss to the Union on Jan. 22, the Badgers have lost nine games by an average of just six points per game.
Jaeden Pierce led YHS with 10 points against Union. Caleb Eicholtz 9, Steve Schumaker 8, Noah Allen 7, Paul Antonis & Tyler Mattyshock had 6 each.
Against Chowchilla, Allen led YHS with 13 points, while Mattyshock added eight points and had 10 rebounds.
See more photos at sierrastar.com.