The Yosemite Badgers varsity boy’s basketball team won their third straight game defeating Minarets 64-40 on Friday in Oakhurst.
Yosemite (6-7, 0-0) defeated Dos Palos 67-66 in an exciting finish on Thursday at Oakhurst. The victory against Mariposa equals the win total for the entire 2017-2018 season.
“We are happy with the win and the way we have been playing lately,” Badger head coach Erik Peterson said. “We have to work on getting fewer turnovers and becoming a better free-throw shooting team. With fewer mistakes and solid defense, we can be a really good team.”
The game against Dos Palos may have been the most exciting of the early season. It was a contrast of styles. The Broncos (7-7, 0-0) are a perimeter shooting team that likes to push the tempo. YHS controlled the inside game but had to come back from a 7-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull it out.
Dos Palos led 24-21 after the first quarter connecting on three 3-pointers. YHS countered with guard Paul Antonis, who pushed the ball up the court virtually every play. Antonis either dished a pass to the YHS big men or drove the lane for contested layups.
Both teams continued trading baskets. YHS took the lead with 3:30 left in the second quarter and went into halftime up 39-35.
Dos Palos came out firing in the third quarter hitting two quick 3-point shots en route to a 10-3 run. But the Badgers fought back with a 3-pointer by John Nisar that tied the game with 2:00 left in the third. The Broncos went on a 7-0 run to end the third quarter and led 56-49.
Peterson challenged the Badgers between quarters. It fired up YHS who stormed back on a 7-0 run. It went down to the wire. Dos Palos led 66-65 with just 8.3 seconds to play. Antonis drove the length of the court and passed off to Nathaniel Mulkey under the basket. Mulkey then passed to Christian Rold who made an athletic, off-balance shot off the backboard to win the game. The Badgers outscored the Broncos 18-10 in the decisive fourth quarter.
Antonis led YHS with 21 points and 8 assists. Owen Bazzar had 14 points and led YHS with 4 steals. Mulkey had 10 points and led YHS with 9 rebounds. Hayden Lewis and Rold each had 8 points. Lewis had 8 rebounds and Rold 6. John Nisar hit two 3-pointers and ended up with 6 points. Forward Dylan Allen had a strong stat line of 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
The Badger post players, Lewis, Mulkey, and Rold, combined for 26 points and 23 rebounds and dominated inside the paint. The addition and return of Steve Lopez to the coaching staff has made a big difference in the performance of the Badger ‘bigs.’ “Coach Lopez has been such a big influence on the play of our big men,” Peterson said. “Steve is an excellent coach, especially with the ‘bigs’. Lopez was an outstanding center for YHS.
Hector Guillen led Dos Palos with 17 points and Rickey Gomez had 16. As a team the Broncos connected on eight 3-point shots.
YHS vs. Minarets
The Badgers defeated Minarets (3-10, 0-0) for the second time in six days. YHS defeated MHS 57-38 at the Liberty Tournament on Dec. 15.
Yosemite led Friday’s game from start to finish. Yosemite jumped out to a 16-2 first quarter lead and never looked back. YHS went on an 8-2 run to start the second quarter and went into halftime up 33-11.
Minarets responded by outscoring the Badgers 17-14 in the third quarter with Eli Estrada hitting key 3 pointers, including one at the end of the quarter. YHS had a comfortable 47-28 lead after the third quarter and outscored Minarets 17-12 in the fourth to put the game away.
Owen Bazzar hit a season-high 19 to lead the Badgers in scoring. Bazzar has averaged 15 points in his last three games. Bazzar also had 9 rebounds.
Nathaniel Mulkey and Hayden Lewis each had a double-double. Both scored 11 points with Mulkey leading YHS with 12 rebounds. Lewis had 10 boards.
Paul Antonis had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Antonis led YHS with 6 assists, 4 blocked shots, and 2 steals. It was another solid overall performance for Antonis who leads YHS in scoring average (14) and assists (5).
Dylan Allen had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. The senior forward continues to contribute on many levels. Clayton Elrod had 4 points and Garrett McMechan, brought up from the JV, had 2 points to complete the YHS scoring.
For Minarets, it was sophomore Eli Estrada who led all scorers with 23 points. Estrada connected on four 3-point shots. Gage Sandoval had 13 points. Phoenix Bedolla had 4 points. Key players Preston Conti and Tyson Ellis missed the contest participating in the California Senior Bowl football all-star game held at Diablo Valley College on Saturday.
Badger JV now 8-2
The Badger JV (8-2, 0-0) is on a roll. YHS defeated Dos Palos 53-44 and Minarets 57-10. YHS has now won 5 of their last 6 games. The Badgers are led by head coach Luke Blate and assistant Charlie Medley.
“We are really starting to come together as a team,” Blate said. “I like how we are playing together overall. We work hard on defense. Our shot selection is improving and I like how our big men are playing in the paint.”
The Badgers and Bronco game swung wildly. YHS led 23-11 at halftime in what looked like a comfortable lead. Dos Palos (2-10) went on an 11-0 run to start out the third quarter. The Broncos hit four 3-point shots in the quarter on the way to a 22-3 run. YHS stormed back on an 8-0 to close out a wild third quarter and led 34-31. It stayed close the entire fourth quarter but YHS held on.
Nathan Kingsland had a season-high 16 points (9 in the fourth quarter) to lead YHS. Garrett McMechan had 10 points. Ethan Coffman, Jack Elrod, and Jesse Swope each had 9 points. Elrod led YHS with 12 rebounds. Coffman led YHS with 3 assists. Swope added 7 boards.
Cesar Paniagua led all scorers with 18 points including three 3-pointers.
The Badgers defeated an outmanned Minarets (0-5, 0-0) squad. The Mustangs managed only 10 points. Coffman led YHS with 19 points. Drake Airey had 9 and Allen Stallings had 8.
Mariposa will be the next home game for YHS on Jan 2. Start time is 6:30 at the Badger Gym.
The JV’s are off for the rest of 2018. YHS will play Mariposa on Jan 2 in Oakhurst. JV start is scheduled for 5pm.