Team falls to Independence and Bakersfield

After winning their first two games, the Kern Schools CU Tournament at North High took a different turn for the Taft varsity boys basketball team following a loss Friday and Saturday.

The slide started in the semi finals Friday with an 80-51 semi final loss to Independence.

“I thought we came out a little sluggish against Independence, and they built a big lead early,” said Lumsden.  “We kind of looked tired, could be due to being the 9th game in 12 days, but we just didn’t look like ourselves in the 1st half.  Credit them as well though, they took us out of our game early.”

Independence had control of the game from the first quarter when they outscored Taft 22-10. The Falcons turned up the heat in the second quarter with 27 points to Taft’s 13.

Taft attempted to get back into the game in the third quarter by outscoring the Falcons 14-11.

Independence countered in the fourth quarter with 20 points to Taft’s 14.

“I thought we did a much better job in the 2nd half of battling and playing with a little heart and emotion,” said Lumsden.

Howell led Taft in scoring with 20 while Wade followed with 9. Iakopo led in rebounding with 8 while Fano Maui and Christian Palacios each led in assists with 4. Maui and Gable each led in steals with 3. Howell, Kolb and Wade each had a block while Howell led in deflections with 6.

The news didn’t get much better in the Wildcats final game after Bakersfield defeated Taft 66-40.

“Much like the day before, BHS jumped out on us early,” said Lumsden.  “Unlike yesterday, I didn’t think we played bad, but we did miss a lot of 2 footers that if we make, the whole dynamic of the game would be a little different.  We probably still don’t beat them, but we probably only lose by 12-15 instead of what it ended up.  I was proud of our effort in this game, and we never gave up despite what the scoreboard said.”

Bakersfield stormed out of the gates with 23 points in the first quarter while Taft was limited to nine. Scoring was close in the final three quarters but Bakersfield outlasted the Wildcats 12-8 in the second quarter, 15-12 in the third and 16-11 in the final quarter to win the game.

Taft has some time off before returning to action Monday, Dec.28 when they kick off the Garces Tournament against Tehachapi. The game starts at 2:30 p.m.