Lady Wildcats outlast Generals by six

Following an eight day break from playing a game at home, the Taft junior varsity girls basketball team picked up right where they left off by defeating the Shafter Generals 39-33 at home late Tuesday afternoon for their second league victory.

With the victory, the Lady Wildcats improve to 14-3 overall and 2-0 in the South Sequoia League.

Taft had the early edge with a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Shafter bounced back in the second quarter by outscoring the Lady Wildcats 14-6 to take a 21-16 lead into the break.

“We got a little flustered in the first half,” said Taft coach Adeana McDaniel Furman. “Shafter came at us with a full court press and a man defense. The girls were taken off guard with Shafter’s physical play.”

Taft rebounded in the third quarter by narrowly outscoring the Lady Generals to cut the deficit to four.  Taft took off from there with the offense erupting for 15 points in the final quarter while the defense limited the Shafter to five.

Jessica Neher led Taft in scoring with 10, steals with 6 and in assists with 4.

“Jessica Neher stepped up huge for us, knocking down a three and hitting her free throws all in the fourth,” said Furman.

Suzie Arnold followed in scoring with 9 while Dee Dee Iotamo had 8. Jordyn Yarbrough led Taft in rebounding with 10 while Iotamo trailed with 5.

Taft returns to action Friday when they travel to Wasco to take on the Lady Tigers. The game begins at 5:15 p.m.