Lady Wildcats score fourteen out of the 16 points in the first quarter

It is only the first week of the league season but already the Taft junior varsity girls basketball team has developed a theme after they sailed past their second straight opponent by sailing past the Arvin Bears 43-25 Friday evening in Taft.

“We have a quick team that out works their opponents,” said Taft coach Adeana McDaniel Furman. “We hope to keep it that way throughout league.”

With the victory, Taft improves to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the South Sequoia League.

Taft set the tone in the first quarter by reeling off eleven straight points with Kyleigh Phillips leading the charge with five points.

Arvin wasn’t able to break through until there was 50 seconds left in the game when they scored on a layup. However, Phillips answered with 13 seconds to go on a three-pointer.

Arvin threatened to get back into the game at the start of the second quarter when they scored four straight points on a pair of layups.
Cherise Strong helped the Lady Wildcats bounce back by scoring four out of the next six points.

After the Lady Bears sank a free throw, Taft took off by scoring the final seven points of the half on a free throw from Morgan Pulido, a putback from Phillips, Bree Johansen's jumper and Paige Wilkerson's basket.

“We came out on fire in the first half,” said Furman. “Arvin was not prepared for our half court trap which led the numerous turnovers that we capitalized on for points.”

Arvin made another attempt to get back into the game at the start of the third quarter. After Taft opened the quarter with a free throw, Arvin went on a 4-2 run to narrow the lead to 28-13. The Lady Wildcats followed up with a 6-0 run.

The Lady Bears made another run by outscoring the Lady Wildcats 4-1 in the final 3:03 of the quarter to cut the lead to 35-19.

Taft bounced back at the start of the fourth quarter by outscoring Arvin 4-2. Following the run, Arvin closed out the game by outscoring Taft 5-2 with the Lady Bears hitting a three-pointer during their run.

Phillips led Taft in scoring with 10 while Johansen followed with 7. Strong and Wilkerson each chipped in with 6. Pulido and Mizener each led in rebounding with 5 while Garcia and Makaila Laulu each had 3.

Garcia led in assists with 2 while Garcia and Pulido each led in steals with 5. Strong and Phillips each had 3.

Taft returns to action Tuesday when they travel up to Delano to face Robert F. Kennedy. The game begins at 5:15 p.m.