Taft holds on to win by three in home barnburner

The Taft varsity girls basketball team took advantage of their return to the comforts of home Tuesday night by outlasting the Shafter Generals 49-46.

With the victory, Taft improves to 4-6 in league while Shafter drops to 8-1.

Thanks in part to Kennedy Kunce's free throw 28 seconds into the game, the Lady Wildcats lept out to a 3-0 lead. After Shafter had tied the score, Kunce struck again with a jumper with 5:55 to go. However, the Lady Generals went on an 11-3 run to take a 14-7 advantage.

Taft bounced back on Caitlyn Emberson's free throw and Johanna Wilke's three-pointer late in the quarter to trail by three. Shafter answered with a basket to lead by five heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Wildcats recovered in the second quarter to tie the game at 16 with 6:56 to go in the half. Shafter threatened to pull away with an 8-0 run before Emberson broke the Lady Wildcat scoring drought with a putback with 1:28 left. Emberson followed up with two free throws as Taft went on a 6-0 run. However, Shafter hit a free throw with 30 seconds left to lead by three.

Shafter threatened to pull away again in the third quarter by upping the advantage to 32-24. Taft countered by outscoring the Lady Generals 12-4 the rest of the quarter to tie the score at 36.

After Shafter regained the lead early in the fourth quarter, Taft took the advantage back at 40-38. After the teams tied at 40, Shafter took their last lead of the game at 44-43 with 2:36. Following the basket, the Lady Wildcats outscored Shafter 5-3 to win the game.

To read the full story, pick up Friday's Driller.