Tehachapi High School Lady Warrior fans will have one more opportunity to see three talented seniors compete under the Tehachapi banner at the Kern County Girl’s High School Basketball All-Star game March 18 at Centennial High School.
Tehachapi’s Teagan Thurman, who was named South Yosemite League Most Valuable Player, and All-SYL First-Team selection Aleiyah Bryant will represent the Lady Warriors in the Kern County contest after a pair of stellar seasons. Fellow senior and Second-Team SYL selection Emily Williams will also play in the all star contest. Tehachapi posted an 18-3 record and went 10-0, winning its first outright South Yosemite League championship in girl’s basketball before an earlier-than-expected loss in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section Division II Playoffs to eventual finalist Mission Prep.
“I was extremely blessed to have coached this group of young ladies,” said head coach Jimi Perkins. “I started coaching these girls because they needed a coach. I’ve learned that God put me in this position because I needed them.”
Thurman led Tehachapi with 22 points and 12 rebounds per game, leading the Lady Warriors in scoring in nearly every contest. The senior will continue her basketball career at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampo, Idaho, next season. She leaves Tehachapi High School as the all-time leading scorer in girls basketball history. Bryant developed as a solid post presence for Tehachapi this season averaging eight points and six rebounds per contest while shooting a team-best 47 percent from the field.
The Lady Warriors’ season left plenty to remember as the team won its second consecutive league championship while guard Sara Heier joined Williams in earning second-team all-league honors for Tehachapi. As the Lady Warriors look forward to next season, Heier is expected as an incoming senior to be the likely team captain. While she is losing lots of scoring with the graduations of Thurman, Bryant, Williams and All-SYL honorable mention Irey Sandholt, Heier is joined by underclassmen talent that was developed this season at the varsity level.
Head coach Jimi Perkins says sophomore Ashley Neaderboamer has the potential entering her junior season to be an all-league selection as she possesses talent on both ends of the court. She averaged 15 minutes per game this season, giving her plenty of playing time at the varsity level. Meanwhile, Perkins points to a pair of freshmen, Laura LaMonte and Trista Diefenderfer, as players who not only showed promise at the varsity level, but expects to be even more prepared entering their sophomore seasons after the upcoming AAU and summer basketball leagues. Both were described by Perkins as “talented kids with a hunger to compete.”
Lindsey Tye played at the junior varsity level this season, but Perkins believes her ability as an overall athlete and competitor coupled with her improvement on fundamentals will serve her well in the future as a varsity player. Perkins also says he expects Michelle Orellana to return to the team after moving back to Tehachapi from Southern California. They will join senior Heaven McDonald, who saw an increased role as a junior late in the season. Perkins describes her as a great defender with talent on the offensive end.