The Lady Warriors remain just a game back of first place in the South Yosemite League as they look toward the second half of league play after a pair of wins last week against Ridgeview and West.
The boy’s varsity squad experienced both ends of the dramatic-ending spectrum with a buzzer beater at Ridgeview and a last-minute loss at home to West on Friday night.
The Lady Warriors defeated Ridgeview 69-32 on Wednesday night behind 27 points and 10 rebounds from Teagan Thurman and 14 from Emily Williams, who scored seven in the third quarter to extend the Tehachapi lead beyond reach for the Wolfpack. Thurman was 12-of-27 from the field while Williams converted 5-of-10 in a game Tehachapi never trailed.
The Lady Warriors managed 21 steals in the game with sophomore Sara Heier recording six for Tehachapi, Irey Sandholt had five steals to go along with her 12 points in the home victory.
“Wednesday was a good win against a well-coached team,” said Tehachapi coach Jimi Perkins. “The final score wasn’t indicative of the talent of that Ridgeview team. They had some unfortunate injuries to key players, and we were able to put pressure on them and get a key win.”
On Friday, Tehachapi started slow at West High with the Vikings’ Ray Vaughn scoring several early three-pointers and giving West the early advantage while scoring 18 first half points. The Lady Warriors, however, managed to make the right adjustments for the 63-48 win on the road. Williams played a key role defensively for Tehachapi, limiting Vaughn to just a pair of second-half points as Tehachapi held West to just four points in the third quarter in a tough road environment.
“The West High School atmosphere was intense and felt like a playoff game,” Perkins said. “I think we took a lot from the experience and we are looking forward to our rematch with Independence on Wednesday at home.”
Tehachapi was led by 26 points from Thurman, 10 from Williams and nine from senior Mady Cotta who also managed six rebounds in the win. Tehachapi came up with 18 steals and turned the ball over just 16 times.
The Lady Warriors finish the first half of league play at 3-2. They will get a chance to face both teams they previously lost to when they host Independence (8-12, 2-3 SYL) Wednesday night and Bakersfield Christian (15-4, 4-1 SYL) Friday night. Both games tip off at 6:30 p.m. at Tehachapi High School.
Chris Garcia hit a buzzer-beating layup as time expired Wednesday night as the Warriors defeated Ridgeview on the road 56-54.
Eight players scored for Tehachapi led by Riley Thompson’s 14 points and 17 rebounds while Drew Bauer added nine points and 10 boards in the win.
“Our game against Ridgeview was sloppy at times but our defense was strong throughout,” said head coach Moe Cramer. “Beating them was very exciting.”
Tehachapi would experience the other end of that drama on Friday night as they allowed a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter evaporate as West High completed a 55-52 comeback win at THS.
The Warriors led by as many as 18 in the ballgame but were limited offensively in the fourth quarter, where they failed to score a point until a free-throw from Garcia with 3:30 remaining. However, shortly after the struggles started for Tehachapi as a series of fouls, including a technical on Thompson, sparked the Vikings comeback led by Malik Alvarez, who scored 13 points in the final quarter, including the layup that put West up for good with 1:55 remaining.
A Tehachapi turnover with less than a minute remaining and another Alvarez layup with 35 seconds left put the Vikings up four. Bauer would cut the lead to two with an offensive rebound and put back with 15 seconds left. The Warriors fouled Alvarez with 11 seconds remaining and he made one of two before Adam Lomonaco’s potential game-tying three pointer was blocked with just seconds remaining.
Prior to the fourth quarter, Tehachapi played some of their best basketball of the season with a balanced scoring effort from the starters and the bench but the late mistakes and inability to score in the fourth quarter played into the downfall.
“The boys played their best basketball of the season versus West,” Cramer said. “Their discipline on offense was impressive and defense was strong, but we succumbed to West’s pressure in the fourth and fell apart.”
Garcia and Bauer led Tehachapi with 10 points apiece while Edward Sartin led West with 15 points and Alvarez scored all but one of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
With the week split, Tehachapi finds themselves at 10-8 overall and 2-3 in SYL play. The Warriors will play at Independence (14-4, 4-1 SYL) on Wednesday and at Bakersfield Christian (15-4, 5-0 SYL) on Friday night.
Junior varsity boys
The Braves secured a pair of wins last week with a 56-50 road win at Ridgeview on Wednesday and a 70-50 home win over West on Friday.
Brandon Neaderboamer led Tehachapi with 23 points on Wednesday and scored 25 in the win over West on Friday. Matthew Finklea scored eight points in the victory over Ridgeview and was called up to the varsity squad for Friday’s game against West.
Tyler O’Brien and Nathanial Webb added 12 apiece for Tehachapi in the West victory. The Braves are 9-4 overall and 4-1 in SYL play.