The Tehachapi Lady Warriors struggled from the field and couldn’t survive the onslaught of three-pointers in a 73-46 loss at Bakersfield High School in the CIF Central Section Division II semifinals.
The Lady Warriors managed just 29 percent shooting from the field (20 of 70) and 14 percent from three-point range (3 of 21) with all made three pointers coming late in the second half with the Drillers' lead well established.
“What an amazing season with an amazing group of kids," said Tehachapi head coach Jimi Perkins. “Playing at BHS in the playoffs was a tremendous experience for us. Our hard work gave us the opportunity to play against the eventual division champions.”
Tehachapi trailed early in the game and managed to pull to a 14-14 tie at the end of the first quarter and briefly took the lead to start the second. BHS then rallied to take control, outscoring the Lady Warriors 17-6 in the second quarter and taking a 31-20 lead into halftime.
McKenna Hsiung and Alexis Killebrew combined for 8-of-10 from three-point range, managing to hold off any thought of a Tehachapi comeback with their critical baskets. Hsiung led BHS with 17 points while Killebrew added 12 for the Drillers, who converted 56 percent of their field goal attempts while knocking down 9-of-13 three-point attempts.
Teagan Thurman led all scorers with 21 points for the Lady Warriors and Irey Sandholt was the other Tehachapi player in double figures with 10. Sandholt collapsed on the court at one point during the second half and was attended to by school administrators and medical staff.
According to staff reports, it was determined an arm brace she was wearing on the court had cut off circulation. Sandholt was assisted off the court and did not return to the game. She left the gymnasium under her own power and was not assisted by the paramedics who responded.
Tehachapi falls to 22-7, the most wins since the 2012-13 season. The Lady Warriors were also co-champions of the South Yosemite League for the first time since joining that league in 2014.
“I’m extremely excited about the future of our program,” Perkins said. “The Lady Warriors are here to stay, and our town has proven they are behind us. We will build on our record-setting season and maybe we can bring a championship to our hometown in 2020.”
Bakersfield High, the defending Division II champions, successfully defended that title with a 47-42 win over second-seeded Yosemite in the finals Friday night at Selland Arena in Fresno.
Tehachapi’s season continues in the Division IV State Girl’s Basketball Championship. They will host Hillcrest out of Riverside at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Tehachapi High School.