The Tehachapi Lady Warriors dealt with weather delays, travel issues and changes in schedules last week to earn a second-place finish in the Gold Division of the Arvin Holiday Hoops Tournament.
Tehachapi suffered their first loss of the season 63-38 to Oxnard in the championship game on Saturday evening after an exhaustive two days in the tournament, which was supposed to start Thursday for Tehachapi. But the snowstorm and road closures had other plans.
The Lady Warriors finally opened the tournament Friday evening, defeating Paso Robles 53-42. Teagan Thurman led Tehachapi with 27 points and 10 rebounds while Emily Williams added eight and Aleiyah Bryant contributed seven in the victory.
Saturday, Tehachapi’s schedule would include a pair of games after the delay. They would take Marysville Getchel from Washington state into double overtime where Tehachapi held on for a 57-50 victory behind 22 points from Thurman and nine from Williams. Tehachapi also relied heavily on Ashley Neaderboamer and Heaven McDonald, who played significant minutes for the Lady Warriors while chipping in timely baskets and defensive plays to help secure the victory.
The Lady Warriors then suffered their first loss of the season in the championship game against Oxnard. The days of travel delays and three games in a short time period wore on Tehachapi, who turned the ball over 26 times in the 25-point loss. Neaderboamer also suffered an injury in the first quarter of the championship game, stretching an already exhausted Tehachapi roster even further. Thurman had 15 points to lead Tehachapi while Bryant and Sara Heier each contributed six points in the loss.
“Overall, I’m really pleased with the girls’ performance in the first two games. We are learning a lot about ourselves and learning how to play together to accomplish our goals,” said head coach Jimi Perkins. “As for the Oxnard game, we were tired and unable to even keep the game close. We will embrace the experience and use the loss to work on our weaknesses. Our conditioning needs to be better and we need to really learn how to control our emotions when things get tough.”
Tehachapi finishes the non-league portion of their schedule with a 5-1 record including quality victories over Stockdale, Burroughs and McFarland. They will now prepare for the defense of last year’s South Yosemite League championship with a pair of league games at home Jan. 7 vs. Independence and Jan. 9 vs. Bakersfield Christian. Both contests tip off at 6:30 p.m.
“This wake-up call came at a good time, in my opinion,” Perkins said. “We take the hurt and humble pie with use into league and we are more focused than ever.”