Sports

Wednesday, Mar 05 2014 06:00 AM

Basketball run ends in quarterfinals; Independence edges out Warriors in CIF playoffs

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Chris Llamas (No. 12) goes up for a layup in the CIF Division III quarterfinals last Thursday evening in Bakersfield. Tehachapi lost to Independence 62-51 to end their season with an overall record of 20-8. Photo by Michael Duffy

After opening up the playoffs with a victory over former SSL rival Shafter, the Warriors nearly pulled off the upset in the CIF quarterfinals before falling to Independence 62-51 last Thursday night in Bakersfield.

The No. 3 seeded Falcons got the early advantage on the No. 6 seeded Warriors to open up the contest, jumping out to a 6-0 lead before Mountain Basketball responded to tie the game at 6-6 with three baskets from Dakota Medovitch, Jonny Saavedra and Isaiah Johnson.

After closing out the first quarter down 12-8, THS recorded their first lead in the game when a Medovitch stop-and-score on a lane drive made it 17-16. A Saavedra assist to Daniel Wight with just under two minutes remaining helped the Warriors go up at halftime, 21-20.

In the third quarter, Tehachapi (20-8) found themselves in foul trouble when Chris Llamas, Micah Fjeld and Saavedra were each called for their third fouls. But the Warriors hung tough, with Johnson draining a long range three-pointer for a 40-39 lead.

The beginning of the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the game, with the Falcons jumping out with three-straight buckets to extend their lead to 49-40, never looking back in a 62-51 win.

Johnson finished as the leading scorer for Tehachapi with 17 points and also grabbing seven rebounds. Saavedra had 10 points and five assists, Medovitch had 10 points, Michal Fjeld had 10 rebounds and eight points, and Wight had a basket.

Earlier in the week, Tehachapi won their playoff opener over No. 11 seeded Shafter, 59-47.

Johnson was the leading scorer in the game with 32 points, followed by Thomas Blewett with 12 points, Fjeld with nine points, Saavedra with four points and Wight with two points.

Seniors on this year's basketball team were Dakota Medovitch, Micah Fjeld and Andrew Borst.

Junior Varsity

The Braves closed out their season with a 48-41 victory over Foothill and a close 57-52 loss to Garces.

Tehachapi (3-7 SEYL) was led in the win over Foothill with impressive scoring distribution, led by Andy Smith with nine points, Carson Bethany with eight points, Ryan Kelly with seven points and Daniel Viselli with six points.

Other leaders included Bryan Cotta with five points, Jesus Sanchez and Jacob Gonzales with four points apiece, Jon Danielson with three points and Kris Breedlove with two points.

In the loss over Garces, Bethany had a team-high 16 points, followed by Sanchez with 12 points, Gonzales with eight points and Viselli with seven points.

For his efforts, Bethany was called up for the playoffs to join the varsity squad this season.

Freshmen

After starting the season with an 0-3 record in league play, the Freshman Indians closed out in impressive fashion, winning their final seven SEYL contests to finish in second place in the SEYL.

Tehachapi (7-3 SEYL) recorded a 32-14 win over Foothill and a 34-28 win over Garces to end their season.

Edwin Corpus had 13 points and Gus Marantos 10 points in the win over Foothill, while Israel Guerrero had 11 points and Tanner Herman and David Wheeler each had 10 points in the victory over Garces.

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