Bakersfield Christian pulls away in fourth quarter to win by 18

The Taft varsity boys basketball team's roller coaster ride through the first half of the league season ended on a rough note following a 63-45 loss to the Bakersfield Christian Eagles in Bakersfield Friday night.

Bakersfield Christian and Taft battled from the opening tip. Taft had the early advantage by scoring the first basket of the game and holding a 4-2 lead. The Eagles responded with six straight points to overtake the lead. After Taft had whittled the deficit to four, Bakersfield Christian threatened to pull away with a 5-2 run to lead by seven.

Taft clawed back to trail by four with 37 seconds left but Bakersfield Christian countered with a basket with seven seconds left.

The Wildcats narrowed the deficit to four early in the second quarter before the Eagles went on an 8-2 run to increase their lead to double digits at 27-17. Thanks in part to Steven Gee's four points, Taft fought back to get within four. However, Bakersfield Christian outscored the Wildcats 5-2 the rest of the way to lead by seven at the halftime break.

Taft narrowed the deficit to three at 38-35 and 40-37 late in the third quarter but each time Bakersfield Christian countered. The Eagles closed out the quarter with a 7-4 run to lead 47-41.

Bakersfield Christian carried that momentum into the final quarter by scoring 16 points while Taft was held to a jumper and a layup in the first half of the quarter.

Taft will look to bounce back Monday when they host Arvin. The game begins at 6:45 p.m.

To read the full story from Friday's game, pick up Tuesday's Driller.