In the past two games, the Taft varsity boys basketball team has experienced nothing but heartbreak and frustration. While the Wildcats were able to avoid the first one, they could not get by the second one Friday evening after Bakersfield Christian defeated Taft 76-61 in Bakersfield.

In the past two games, the Taft varsity boys basketball team has experienced nothing but heartbreak and frustration. While the Wildcats were able to avoid the first one, they could not get by the second one Friday evening after Bakersfield Christian defeated Taft 76-61 in Bakersfield.


“We battled really good,” said Taft coach Mark Hutson. “They’re a pretty strong team.”
With the loss, Taft falls to 13-16 overall and 4-6 in the South Sequoia League.


Bakersfield Christian’s offense came out smoking after erupting for 23 points in the first quarter.
The scoring was closer in the second period but the Eagles outlasted Taft 18-16 to build a 41-25 advantage at the half.


Neither side was able to get an advantage in the third quarter as both teams scored 15 points. Taft finally made a move in the fourth quarter when they scored 21 points to the Eagles 20, but ut was not enough to overcome the deficit.


While the Wildcats lost their regular season finale, they will get an opportunity to bounce back Tuesday when they travel to Corcoran in the first round of the CIF-CS Division IV playoffs.
“We’re looking foward to going up there and playing,” said Hutson.


Taft will be taking on a Corcoran Panther team that finished 23-6 overall and 8-0 in the East Sequoia League according to www.maxpreps.com.


This is not the first time the two teams have faced each other.this season.


Taft first ran up against Corcoran in the Garces Tournament where Corcoran defeated the Wildcats 56-46.


Less than a week later, Corcoran and Taft met in the Wasco Tournament, with the Panthers outlasting Taft 44-38. A couple of days later, Corcoran defeated Taft for the third straight time by a score of 72-60.


“We know what they do and what we do,” said Hutson. “Maybe the fourth time is a charm for us,” said Hutson. “


In order for the Wildcats to get over the hump Hutson says the team needs to do a couple of things like  rebounding and “hitting some perimeter shots.”


“We got to stop them from killing us on the offensive boards.”


Another challenge that Taft will be experiencing is the trip up. However, Hutson does not think that will bother the Wildcats.


“We seem to play good on the road,”?said Hutson. “We’re not worried about that factor.”


One area that could bother Taft has to deal with lapses on defense and to relax on offense.


“Our challenge is within ourselves,” Hutson.


The game on Tuesday will begin at 7 p.m.