Both Tehachapi varsity basketball teams earned their first South Yosemite League victories this season Friday night over Golden Valley.
At home it was the Lady Warriors squad overcoming a rough shooting night to use defense and 27 points from junior forward Teagan Thurman to outlast the Bulldogs 56-46.
Thurman scored the final six points of the game for Tehachapi, which had let its lead slip to just two points in the final few minutes. Tehachapi was just 21-of-77 from the field (27 percent) in the win but the Lady Warriors stingy press-trap defense forced 20 steals.
Thurman played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls and managed to stay on the floor while scoring eight of the team’s final 10 points. Emily Williams added 10 points for Tehachapi while Irey Sandholt recorded seven steals.
Tehachapi opened the game on a 12-3 run but quickly let Golden Valley back into it when the Bulldogs answered with a 16-0 run to take a 19-12 lead late in the second quarter. Tehachapi responded with a five-made-free-throws in the final two minutes of the half to take a lead it would never surrender.
Ayanna Dunn led Golden Valley with 18 points and made the layup with three minutes remaining to pull the Bulldogs within two points. Tehachapi closed the game on an 8-0 run with six points from Thurman and two from Mady Cotta, who finished the game with six for the Lady Warriors.
Tehachapi improved to 14-5 on the season and 1-2 in SYL play. Tehachapi fell on Wednesday night at Bakersfield Christian 64-53. Thurman led the Lady Warriors with 24 points, but Tehachapi had 28 turnovers in the loss.
“We started the week with a tough loss and BCHS, we fought hard but, in the end, we can’t beat quality teams with 28 turnovers,” said coach Jimi Perkins. “We responded at home against a gritty Golden Valley team, 17 turnovers for the game was a big improvement; we had a poor shooting night, but our defensive intensity led to some easy buckets.”
The Lady Warriors host Ridgeview (10-12, 2-1 SYL) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at THS as SYL play continues. They will travel to West High School (11-8, 2-1 SYL) on Friday.
“The SYL has been exactly what we expected so far. Every game has been an absolute fight,” Perkins said. “I plan on having the girls ready to compete until the very end.”
Chris Garcia scored 15 points and the Warriors used a balanced effort offensively and defensively as they secured their first SYL win 63-40 at Golden Valley Friday night.
Along with Garcia, the Bulldogs struggled to contain Riley Thompson who found his stroke scoring 14 for the Warriors on the road win while Adam Lomonaco added 11 points including a pair of three-pointers. Ten of the 11 Warriors on the roster scored in the win with underclassmen Ryan Jones and Zack King leading the Tehachapi effort on defense.
“I was very pleased with their play at both ends of the court,” said head coach Moe Cramer. “They ran the plays well and found good scoring opportunities.”
Tehachapi was coming off a 73-40 loss to Bakersfield Christian on Wednesday night in a game dominated by the offensive firepower of the Eagles. Garcia scored the first three of his team-high 17 points to give Tehachapi its only lead of the game on the first possession. The Eagles would take control shortly after as Kadar Waller scored 24 points while Noah Taylor hit four three-pointers and scored 17 for BCHS.
With the split on the week, Tehachapi improved to 9-7 on the season and 1-2 in the SYL.
Tehachapi is at Ridgeview (5-12, 2-1 SYL) on Wednesday night before hosting West (6-12, 0-3 SYL) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Warriors recorded their first win over the Vikings in five years earlier this season in a non-league game at the Arvin Tournament.
“Our league is tough this year. All teams have strong rosters; it will be interesting as time passes where we’ll all end up,” Cramer said. “There’s a lot of basketball left and we’re continuing to improve.”