Warriors boys basketball coach Louie Saavedra on the bench during during a game.

John Nelson / Tehachapi News

Maybe the Warriors boys prefer basketball for breakfast.

After losing their first three games in the Garces Holiday basketball tournament, the Warriors rubbed the sleep out of their eyes for an 8:30 a.m. start on Friday, Dec. 30.

Jesus Sanchez scored a game-high 32 points, and the Warriors beat Taft 78-48.

“I believe we finally rediscovered our team chemistry and played as a team,” head coach Louie Saavedra said.

The Warriors could easily have won three of their four games in the Garces tournament.

They started with a 57-56 overtime loss to Delano on Tuesday, Dec. 27. David Wheeler had 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half for Tehachapi.

“We were executing offensively and defensively and lost a very tough battle,” Saavedra said.

The next day, the Warriors were beaten rather soundly by Kingsburg, 73-59. Even in that game, however, they showed sparks of life. They fell behind by 13 at halftime, for example, but managed to get within 3 points.

“We learned a tough lesson against Kingsburg,” Saavedra said. “We learned we can come back from any deficit, but that we need to continue to take care of the ball and minimize our turnovers.”

On Thursday, Dec. 29, the Warriors lost another close one, 59-56 to Bakersfield Christian.

“It was a back and forth battle,” Saavedra said.

The coach said that in the final two minutes, Tehachapi “lost containment” of BCHS's big scorer, and that cost them the game.

In the victory over Taft, Wheeler added 10 points, and Carson Bethany had 9.

“Overall, we need to continue getting better at minimizing our turnovers, executing our offense and communicating defensively throughout all four quarters,” Saavedra said.