Warrior Basketball

The Trojans double teamed Warrior high scorer Bert Hall who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Above, Hall works his way through a pair of Foothill players during second-half action. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

Trojans Upset Mountain Basketball
Warriors Finish Season With 15-10 Mark

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News on March 3, 2009

It was confusion in the stands at game’s end, with a stunned home crowd scratching their head and trying to realize what happened.

With nine seconds left in the game and the score knotted up at 49-49, the Warriors were victim to a cruel basketball rule, giving up a technical foul and free-throws to their opposition after attempting to call a timeout when they did not have any available.

Foothill sank both charity stripe attempts, along with a 3-4 foul-shooting effort as the game drew to a close, to escape Tehachapi with a 54-49 win.

“Our kids fought hard, sometimes these things just happen,” said head coach Chris Olofson. “We told the guys that we didn’t have any more timeouts, but unfortunately when you’re in the heat of battle these things just happen.”

Tehachapi (15-10; 7-3 SSL) played a nearly flawless first half against a talented front-court for Foothill, taking a quick game opening 13-4 advantage and an eventual 30-22 halftime lead.

The Warriors were led by solid shooting and rebounding by Bert Hall, who finished his stellar Warrior career with a double-double 17 point, 12 rebound night. Kurtis Knudson also had a strong night as court-general, logging in 10 points and three assists.

“Bert and Kurtis really stepped up their game,” Olofson said. “The guys fought hard and there are many positives to take away from this year.”

Also turning in strong point performances were JJ Balkar with 11 points and Derek Lange with four points.

The Warriors will lose nine talented players to graduation in Franky Rodriguez, Kurtis Knudson, JJ Balkar, Mark Recalde, Derek Lange, Justin Hansen, Bert Hall, Matt Bloom and Vince Ortiz.

“You know, sometimes the best team doesn’t always win, and that’s basketball,” Olofson said. “But our kids fought hard this game and all year. It was a great season and a great group of guys.”