Preps

Wednesday, Mar 05 2014 10:15 PM

Top seeded Rams rip Yosemite, will play for D-II championship

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High fans filled their side of the stands as their girl's team dominated Yosemite High in their basketball Division II semifinal game Wednesday night. They advance to the finals.

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  2. 2 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Chenoa Beruman continues Garces' aggressive defense throughout their game with Yosemite High in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Chenoa Beruman and Yosemite High's Jessica Fine play in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night.

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  4. 4 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Lisa Darquea, right, and Yosemite High's Julia Walsh take a tumble in the 1st half of their game Wednesday night. Things didn't start well for Yosemite and never really got going as Garces dominated in their semifinal playoff game in Division II.

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  5. 5 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Ashlee Cameron and Yosemite High's Veronica Miller go up for a rebound in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Things are looking very good for Garces High in the 4th quarter against Yosemite High in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night but Garces coach Tod Denison seems to want to save the celebration for later as Garces advances to the finals.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Celeste West looks for a shot as Yosemite High's Veronica Miller defends in their Wednesday night game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Rhiana Dougan, left, and Yosemite High's Veronica Miller battle for a loose ball Wednesday night.

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  9. 9 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's defensive effort by Kayla Scott and Chenoa Beruman stifles Yosemite High's offense Wednesday night in their Division II semifinal game.

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  10. 10 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Celeste West looks for a shot as Yosemite High's Veronica Miller and others put up a defense in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night.

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  11. 11 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces High's Chenoa Beruman takes a shot as Yosemite High's Veronica Miller defends in the 2nd half of their game Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    After an injury in the 1st half, Garces High's Celeste West comes out and plays aggressive defense on Yosemite High's Jensen Eames in the 2nd half of their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night.

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  13. 13 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Garces High girl's victory over Yosemite High is all but complete as the time ticks away in their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night. They advance to the championship game.

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  14. 14 of 14

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Garces High girls win their Division II semifinal game Wednesday night over Yosemite High to advance to the championship game.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Had Garces' 60-37 victory over Oakhurst-Yosemite on Wednesday been a boxing match, the only thing to decide was exactly when the knockout came.

Was it when C.J. West scored on an easy putback for a 9-0 lead? Kayla Scott's strip and score to make it 20-4? Or maybe five straight points from Lisa Darquea for a 25-4 lead a few minutes later?

Whatever the case, top-seeded Garces put to rest early any ideas of a Central Section Division II upset. No. 5 Yosemite played the Rams (29-3) mostly even the rest of the way, but the Badgers (17-10) never recovered from the early flurry.

"We have a tendency to play hard and get ahead in the first few minutes and then let teams get back close," West said. "We think, 'Oh, we're good,' and then we let up. Tonight we did a good job of keeping that lead up."

Garces, seeking the second section title in program history, will face No. 3 Tulare Western at 6 p.m. Friday in the Division II championship.

"I'm proud of them," Rams coach Tod Denison said. "We work them hard, so they deserve this."

West led Garces with a stuffed stat sheet: 13 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks and one tremendous sigh of relief.

Early in the second quarter, with Garces already in control, West swatted a Yosemite jump shot out of bounds and immediately grabbed her right shoulder and fell to the floor in pain.

A minute later, however, she was back on her feet and headed to the bench. And a few minutes after that, she was back in the game.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, what happened?'" said West, who had her shoulder wrapped in ice after the game. "I felt it pop out, but when I stood up it popped back in. It's sore, but I'll get some good therapy (today) and be find for (Friday)."

That was the last bit of drama. Yosemite, which stunned top-seeded Garces with a last-second shot in the 2011 D-II semifinals, committed 24 turnovers and never got closer than 18 points after the big run early.

"Obviously it helps to come out strong," Denison said. "You can kind of take a team out of the game like that."

Julia Walsh had 11 points for Yosemite, and Sierra Dominici and Veronica Miller each scored 10, but the rest of the team combined for just six.

For Garces, Darquea finished with 11 points, all in the first half, and Rhiana Dougan and Ashlee Cameron each had 8.

Garces, which lost a lopsided final to No. 1 Ridgeview last year, now finds itself in the favorite's chair.

"We're playing pretty good basketball," Denison said. "Now we have one more to go."

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