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Lady Generals basketball heads to semis

The Shafter High Lady Generals basketball team won two games last week to earn their spot in the Central Section Division III playoffs. Shafter, the number four seed, will take on the Bakersfield Christian Eagles in the semifinals, with a trip to Fresno's Selland Arena and the Valley Finals on the line.

Shafter opened the playoffs with a 53-32 win over Ridgeview High on Wednesday, with the Lady Generals sprinting out to a 20 point lead before the first half was over. Shafter used a smothering defense that had the Wolfpack turning the ball over several times in the half, enabling the Lady Generals to score some fast break points.

In the second half, the Wolfpack had success thwarting Shafter's inside game, using their height to block a number of Shafter shots from inside the paint, forcing the Lady Generals to find points outside of the paint. Fortunately for Shafter, they had Kyla Schooley and Sydney Macias hitting from the outside, giving the Lady Generals a big lead. The Wolfpack could not get within 10 points the rest of the way, with Shafter pulling away at the end of the game for the final score.

This win set up a matchup with number five seed Sierra High School.

Sierra had some speed and several outside shooters in their lineup, but the Lady Generals started the game just as they did with the first round, forcing the Chieftans into several mistakes and turnovers, getting some easy baskets on the other end, building a sizeable lead in the first half.

They also used a very effective inside game in this round, with Alexia Ramirez controlling the inside, along with Schooley and the quickness of Annemarie Piuser, who also hit on some early shots.

The Lady Generals had an 11-point lead going into the second half, when the Chieftans chipped away at the Shafter margin with some effective outside shooting and some errors on the Shafter's offensive end of the court. But with Sierra getting within four points late in the game, the Lady Generals turned the intensity back on on defense and forced some key turnovers, along with hitting some crucial shots, including a pair of threepoint shots by Schooley and jumpers from Macias. This gave Shafter an 11-point lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the way, ending with a 62-49 victory.


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