Wildcats go up against No.1 seed Washington Union in quarterfinal round

The joy and glow the Taft varsity boys basketball team experienced after their first round victory Tuesday night quickly disappeared after they shifted their focus to take on No.1 seed Washington Union in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-CS Division IV playoffs.

“It’s going to be a struggle,” said Taft coach Harold Heiter. “We can play our best game and that is all you can ask for.”

The Wildcats, who are the No.8 seed, will be taking on a Panthers team that went 24-5 overall and 10-0 in the North Sequoia League. The only losses this season for Washington Union were to Division III’s Mission Oak by 17, Division II’s El Diamante by one, Division III’s Fresno, Division I’s Edison and Mission Prep.

In terms of wins, the Panthers had two close calls against Clovis and Clovis North but the rest of the time Washington Union won by double digits.

Washington Union continued their run into the first round of the playoffs when they handed No.16 seed Firebaugh a 112-75 loss.

If there is a silver lining for the Wildcats it is what happened to Washington Union last year in the playoffs. In 2013, the Panthers were the No.1 seed with an overall record of 22-11 and a league record of 9-1.

However, No.8 seed Coalinga upset Washington Union 56-54 in the quarterfinal round on their way to the championship match in Division IV play.

Thursday’s game at Washington Union begins at 7 p.m.