Team improves to 3-0

Ever since the league season got underway, the Taft junior varsity girls basketball team has been on cruise control. While, the Lady Wildcats hit a bit of a speed bump in their game against Wasco Thursday afternoon, Taft was still able to pull out with a victory by defeating the Lady Tigers 45-32 at home.

With the victory, Taft improves to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in the South Sequoia League.

Scoring was hard to come by in the first quarter with neither side breaking through until Taft's Morgan Pulido sank a free throw 3:55 in the game. Taft would not get their first field goal of the game until there was 1:45 remaining in the quarter when Chaydin Garcia stole the ball and scored on a layup. Fifteen seconds later Taft struck again with Mariah Nevarez's pass to Kyleigh Phillips for a layup.

Wasco finally broke through with 1:05 remaining thanks to a steal and layup.

Taft was able to pick up the pace in the second quarter when they scored 12 points over the course of the quarter including seven in a row. Pulido led the charge for Taft during that period of time with 5 while Cherise Strong had 4. Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers were only able to double their point total thanks to a basket with 1:19 remaining in the half.

“We could not get anything to fall in the first half,” said Taft coach Adeana McDaniel Furman. “It was the lowest scoring first half we have had.”

Taft picked up the pace in the third quarter when they outscored Wasco 9-1 thanks in part to Pulido's three pointer. Wasco was able to get their first field goal of the third quarter at the 2:20 mark but Taft's Paige Wilkerson and Garcia countered with a putback and layup before the teams traded points in the final minute of the quarter.

The Lady Wildcats took control of the fourth quarter by putting up 11 points with Strong leading the way by scoring four points. Meanwhile, the defense limited Wasco to a field goal with 1:28 left in the game.

“We just continued to play tough defense and things turned around for us,” said Furman. “This team continues to work hard regardless of the score and we come out on top because of their hard work.

Pulido led Taft in scoring with 13 while Strong had 8. Garcia and Phillips each had 6. Garcia led in rebounding by grabbing 7 while Mizener followed with 4.

Pulido led in assists with 5 while Bree Johansen led in steals with 5. Pulido followed with 5 while Garcia had 3. Mizener had 2 blocks in the game.