Mountain Basketball punched their ticket to the semifinals for the first time in five years, defeating no. 14 seed San Joaquin Memorial 59-56 and no. 6 seed Shafter 43-33 last week in the Division III playoffs.
Tehachapi (23-5), the playoffs no. 3 seed, faced an early deficit at the end of the first quarter to San Joaquin Memorial 15-11, but stormed back to take a 28-22 halftime lead and the eventual win.
Three Lady Warriors scored in double figures, with Danielle Simpson leading the way with a double-double 19 points and 11 rebounds. Dani Peacon also had 14 points and three steals and Alyssa Garcia had 11 points.
Rheanna Cowee also had eight points and a team leading 14 rebounds, and Kelsey Vance had four points and eight rebounds, Laney Ricker a three pointer and Lexi Garrett three rebounds.
Against Shafter, The Warriors were down by two points to start the fourth quarter by dominated down the stretch, outscoring Shafter 17-5 in the final period to record the quarterfinal victory.
Standouts included Simpson with another double-double 17 points and 11 rebounds, including seven blocked shots, while Garcia had 11 points and eight rebounds and Peacon 10 points and five rebounds.
Cowee also had four points and nine rebounds, Garrett had four rebounds and Vance had five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
Tehachapi’s victories last week marked a milestone, with Tehachapi reaching the semifinals and recording playoff wins for the first time since 2008. The Lady Warriors last playoff victory was over Kingsburg in the quarterfinals five years ago, 38-37.
Mountain Basketball will take on the no.2 seed Hanford West Huskies in Hanford this Tuesday starting at 7 p.m.
Hanford West (25-6) defeated no.15 Sanger 64-31 and no.10 Wasco 53-24 last week to reach the semifinals against the Lady Warriors.
The winner of this Tuesday’s game will move on to the CIF Division III Championship at Selland Arena, set to be held this Friday and Saturday in Fresno for Division I through V.