Adam Lomonaco knocked down three fourth-quarter three-pointers and fellow senior Jarod Carol paced three Warriors in double figures with 16 points as the senior class shined on Senior Night with a 59-56 win over Ridgeview Friday night.
The win was the second of the week for Tehachapi (12-10, 4-5 SYL), who also took down Golden Valley on Wednesday 58-45 and can secure a third-place finish in the Southeast Yosemite League with a win at West this week.
On Friday the Warriors provided one of their-most balanced efforts of the season with the senior class leading the way. Carol poured in 16 points including a pair of three-pointers while Chris Garcia added 13 for Tehachapi and Riley Thompson finished his home career strong with 10 points including two clutch baskets down the stretch. Thompson made one of two free throws with 25 seconds left to extend the THS lead to 57-54. Ridgeview would pull within one point on the next possession on a Jamal Chase layup.
After a series of fouls to put Tehachapi at the free throw line, Carol missed the front end of a bonus with seven seconds remaining, but Thompson secured the rebound and finished with a tough layup to seal the win for the Warriors against an athletic and fast-paced Ridgeview squad.
For head coach Moe Cramer it was the “perfect storm” he’s been waiting for all season.
“The Warriors are for real, we have some excellent athletes here and they showed a lot of heart and a lot of stuff tonight," Cramer said. “That’s the perfect storm, and I thought that’s the way it was going to be all season but it’s OK, I’ll take this one and on to West.”
Cramer also believed the home crowd had a big part in Friday’s success, with the largest crowd of the season on hand.
“The energy and fan participation level was amazing,” he said. “I love my community.”
Chase led Ridgeview with 22 points while Tahj Wright contributed 13 for the Wolf Pack as Tehachapi swept the regular-season series with Ridgeview for the first time since the 1996-97 season when both teams played in the South Sequoia League. This is the first time in the five-season history of the current SYL that the Warriors have defeated Ridgeview twice in league play.
Tehachapi now travels to West to conclude the regular season on Wednesday night. West pulled off a 56-52 comeback win on Jan. 18 in the first SYL meeting between the two squads as the Warriors gave up an 11-point fourth quarter lead.
“It’s a big day,” Cramer said. “We’ve got to get even, they beat us in our house, and we’re going to go over there and get even with them and we’re going to move on into the playoffs with strong, strong momentum.”
The game will also have Central Section Division III playoff implications as Tehachapi appears to securely be in the 16-team field while West could be on the bubble.
Following their amazing finish a week ago at home against Bakersfield Christian to take over first place in the SYL, the Lady Warriors secured at least a share of their first SYL title with a 55-35 win at Golden Valley on Wednesday and a 58-40 win at West Friday night.
Tehachapi has a one-game lead over West High and Bakersfield Christian in the SYL standings with one game remaining in league play. Tehachapi hosts West on Wednesday night and can win the league championship outright with a victory. A THS loss could mean as many as three teams sharing the SYL crown.
“My biggest task this week was keeping the team focused on one game at a time and fighting complacency,” said head coach Jimi Perkins. “Now that we handled our business on the road, we can focus on our opportunity to play West for the league title.”
Teagan Thurman led Tehachapi with 16 points in the win over Golden Valley as she converted on 7-of-17 shots from the field while pulling down 13 rebounds. Aleiyah Bryant added eight points for Tehachapi while Emily Williams, Sara Heier and Evey Figueiredo each contributed with six points. Figueiredo also grabbed 10 rebounds.
On Friday at Ridgeview, Thurman scored 25 points to go along with 15 rebounds in the 18-point victory for the Lady Warriors which secured at least a share of the league championship. Irey Sandholt and Heier added eight points for Tehachapi who held Ridgeview to just 25-percent shooting from the field while forcing 30 turnovers, 18 of which were steals for THS.
Tehachapi has won seven-straight and 13 out of their last 14 games. They currently hold the fourth-best record in the CIF Central Section Division II standings and should generate a high-seed at the conclusion of the regular season. Tehachapi has not won a league championship since the 2009-10 season when they were in the SSL and were co-champions that season. Their last outright league title came in the 2005-06 season.
“I’m continually coaching the mindset of my players and preparing them for the physical type of basketball that comes in the playoffs,” Perkins said. “I’m hoping for another huge turnout for the big game Wednesday night.”
Wednesday's game tips off at 6:30 p.m. at Tehachapi High School.
Junior varsity boys
Tehachapi split a pair of SYL contests this week, defeating Golden Valley 58-38 on Wednesday before falling to Ridgeview 60-56 on Friday.
Brandon Neaderboamer led Tehachapi with 26 points against Golden Valley and 36 against Ridgeview.
Tehachapi is now 11-6 overall and 6-3 in the SYL. They conclude their season Wednesday at West.