Team wins by seven over Wasco

It hasn't been that many games into the league season but the Taft freshmen girls basketball team finally got a sense of relief Thursday afternoon when they won their first league game by handing the Wasco Tigers a 19-12 loss in Taft.

“It feels really good because this is a really good team,” Taft coach Michelle Gerry said of the win. “I feel like we played more relaxed today.”

With the victory, Taft improves to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the South Sequoia League.

Scoring was hard to come by in the first quarter. After Wasco scored the first basket a 1:55 into the game, Taft finally broke through with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter on Alexa Queenan's layup before Tayler Portengia completed a three-point play with 23 seconds left.

The lack of scoring continued into the second quarter when Taft scored their only basket of the quarter 17 seconds into the quarter when Jazmine Guerrero passed to Portengia for a layup. Meanwhile, Wasco's only points of the quarter came on a free throw 57 seconds in the quarter and another free throw with 42 seconds left.

Wasco got their next field goal 15 seconds into the third quarter. However, Taft outscored the Lady Tigers 7-2 the rest of the quarter with Wasco's only other basket coming with 29 seconds left in the quarter. During that time, Queenan scored four of the points.

Like the previous quarter, Wasco scored the first basket of the final quarter before adding another field goal a little over a minute later to close the deficit to 14-12. Taft took control the rest of the game by scoring the final five points on baskets from Portengia and Shelby Lee along with Queenan's free throw.

“We still had a lot of turnovers but I believe our selections were better,” said Gerry.

Portengia led in scoring with 8 while Queenan had 7 and Lee and Alexis McCord each had 2.

Taft closes out the first half of the league season Monday and Tuesday when they travel to Shafter and Robert F. Kennedy. Both games start at 4 p.m.