The Lady Warriors opened their season by steamrolling Kennedy High School last week 51-29. Then the momentum continued as Tehachapi won their home opener two nights later against Centennial before finishing second at the Scots-Golden Hawks Winter Warmup Tournament Championship in a 5-1 week.
After the win over Kennedy, Tehachapi (5-1) took the court on Thursday at home taking on Centennial. While Tehachapi managed a 69-54 win over the visiting Golden Hawks, it wasn’t without some first half turnover issues. Tehachapi led early but allowed a 13-3 run in the first half sparked by 15 first-half turnovers. Centennial managed a buzzer-beater before the end of the second quarter to take a 35-34 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Warriors, however, found the right adjustments in the second half and were paced by Teegan Thurman’s 26 points on 12-of-17 from the field while Emily Williams proved to be a handful for Centennial as well, adding 12 points for Tehachapi who shot 7-of-14 from three-point range in the win. Williams dislocated a finger early in the game but still managed a season-high in points while recording six rebounds and three steals.
Tehachapi took the lead thanks to an 8-0 run to end the third quarter using steals and defense to pressure Centennial into mistakes that they managed to capitalize on. Tehachapi still had 14 turnovers in the second half and worked through foul trouble all evening.
“We need to work on team defense and being disciplined defenders without fouling,” said interim head coach Jimi Perkins.
In the Scots-Golden Hawks Winter Warm Up Tournament, Tehachapi took down South 58-17 on Friday afternoon before returning to the court later that evening and taking down Garces 57-41 behind 12 points from Williams and 10 from Irey Sandholt. Thurman grabbed 17 rebounds for Tehachapi in the win over their longtime rivals.
Tehachapi claimed a second victory over Centennial, 43-27, on Saturday morning before falling in the tournament championship to McFarland, 52-46. After a six-game week, Tehachapi plays only Highland this week.
“We have plenty of room for improvement and I’m looking forward to getting back to work with my team this week,” Perkins said. “I love my team, I love who we are as a group and the sky is the limit for us once we make defense a priority”
Riley Thomson missed his first four field goal attempts of the second half, but the Warriors kept feeding the senior post player until he made six straight points to start the fourth quarter as the Warriors pulled away from Kennedy High School for a 57-41 victory in the home opener Tuesday night.
Tehachapi trailed 26-23 at the half after failing to convert several open looks in the first two quarters of play. However, late in the third quarter, the Warriors put all the pieces together as Zack King came off the bench to spark the Tehachapi defense, recording a steal and scoring four straight points to tie the game at 35 as the third quarter expired. It was then Thomson’s turn to get hot from the field scoring six straight and ended the evening with eight points for THS in the win.
Guard Jarod Carol led the Warriors with 13 points on 4-of-8 from the field while senior Chris Garcia added 12 points for Tehachapi in the win. Garcia was 4-of-8 from the field as well and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Drew Bauer provided solid minutes off the bench for Tehachapi ,adding eight points in the Warriors victory.
Thanks to the sportsmanship of Kennedy head coach Luis Padilla, Cramer was able to call a timeout with 10 seconds remaining and substitute in special needs player Aaron Swain, who scored on a baseline layup as time expired to seal the 57-41 victory for Tehachapi.
The Warriors then went on the road and took part in the Highway 58 Shootout Tournament that started on Thursday with a pair of games. The Warriors defeated Highland 64-37 in the first game on Thursday but suffered their first loss of the season later that evening, 62-61, at the hands of Cesar Chavez.
Tehachapi concluded the tournament with a 50-38 loss to Shafter on Saturday afternoon to conclude the week at 2-2.
The Warriors play at Highland and at the Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Tournament at North High this week. They return home on Dec. 12 for their league opener against Independence.