Taft shuts out McFarland in the third quarter on way to 19-point victory

The No.3 seed Taft varsity girls basketball team dodged another hurdle in their playoff quest Thursday night when they caught fire in the second half to defeat the No.6 seed McFarland Cougars 55-34 in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-CS Division IV playoffs in Taft.

With the victory, Taft advances to the semi finals where they will take on No.2 Mendota.

The first half of the game was a different story. After Kennedy Kunce scored the first four points of the game, the Lady Cougars roared back with a 7-2 run to take their first lead of the game at the 4:!8 mark. After Taft scored McFarland took the lead back on a three-pointer.

Taft had the final say of the quarter when Johanna Wilke scored the final basket with 25 seconds left.

After Wilke helped Taft take the lead back in the early moments of the second quarter, McFarland reeled off six straight points to take a four point lead at 16-12. Taft countered with an 8-2 run to lead 20-18. After a Lady Cougar free throw, the teams traded points over the remaining minutes of the half with Taft holding a 24-23 edge.

The tide started to change in the third quarter when Taft scored all 14 of the points starting with Halle Neher's free throw 25 seconds in.

McFarland would not score another basket again until the 7:42 mark of the fourth quarter. However, McFarland would only score six more points the rest of the way. In the meantime, Taft countered with 15 points.