Warrior Basketball

Warrior senior Dougan Patience (above with ball) had a strong week for
Tehachapi scoring 25 total points in two CIF Central Section Division III playoff games.
Tehachapi finished the season at 21-8, winning a SSL championship. Photo by Mike Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Warriors End Playoff Run In Bakersfield
Against #1 Seed Ridgeview

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News, on March 3, 2010

After finishing the season as league champions with 20-plus wins to their credit, Mountain Basketball received a less-than favorable seed to open up the Central Section Division III playoffs.

Not letting that phase them, Tehachapi (21-8) upset #8 seed Frontier at home 73-70, and nearly pulled off an upset over Kern County's #1 team Ridgeview before falling late in the fourth quarter, 70-52.

"This is one of the most improved teams that we've ever had here," said head coach Chris Olofson. "They battled. They didn't get intimidated. They just went out and played all-heart basketball."

The Warriors had a brilliant first half in their opening round against Frontier, with Corey Torres nailing a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter to put Tehachapi up, 21-16.

A back-and-forth battle ensued the rest of way with the Titans, going down to the wire in the game's final seconds. A 6-6 shooting performance at the charity stripe proved to be the difference.

"We had a one point game nearly the entire fourth quarter, and Jordan (Beardsley) and Christian (Torres) came up big at the line for us," added Olofson. "You win the close games by making your free throws and our guys did that."

With 37 seconds left in the contest, Christian Torres was fouled and sent to the line. After two made shots, Tehachapi was nursing a 69-68 lead. Beardsley connected on the final four three throws to send the Warriors to #1 seed and Kern County's top team Ridgeview.

"Our backs were against the wall again (against Ridgeview) but we weren't going to go down without a fight," Olofson said. "It was competitive, almost right down to the end."

Tehachapi shocked #1 seed Ridgeview by taking a 37-32 lead at halftime, culminated by a Dougan Patience buzzer-beating three point shot before the second period clock expired.

Early in the third quarter, the Warriors were handicapped in their post rotation when Jordan Beardsley and Travis Farewell were both called four foul fouls, respectively. With both Tehachapi players having to sit to prevent getting fouled out of the game, the Ridgeview inside presence ran wild and pulled away with the win.

"Ridgeview has some tremendous athletes, and we had some guys that competed with them," said Olofson. "But when you’re on the road, dealing with their crowd, it's tough. But our guys laid it all out there."

With the season concluded, Tehachapi finished as the #27 ranked team in the section and won their first South Sequoia League championship since 2006.

"We had a great group of guys this year and they did a great job,' Olofson said. "They represented Tehachapi very well."