Having six days off can do a number on a team. It did for the Taft varsity boys basketball team Tuesday night during a 45-41 loss to the Shafter Generals at home.
Taft scored the first basket nine seconds into the game but were held to four points the rest of the quarter. Meanwhile Shafter put up 10 points with four of them coming in the final 46 seconds of the period.
Scoring disappeared through the first half of the second quarter with Shafter scoring the only point on a free throw. Taft broke the drought with a pair of free throws at the 4:44 mark of the quarter. Taft followed with a basket to cut the deficit to one but Shafter answered 23 seconds later. Taft would cut the lead to one two more times but Shafter answered each time including a three-pointer right before the half.
The Wildcats caught fire at the beginning of the third quarter with six straight points to lead by two. After the Generals countered, Taft scored three points to take the lead. The Wildcats would only score three more points the rest of the quarter.
Shafter threatened to pull away in the fourth quarter, at one point leading by six. Taft fought back to trail by one but could not catch up.