Warrior Basketball

Senior Travis Farewell #44 takes a fade away jumper versus Foothill in the
opening round of the DIII valley playoffs. The Warriors defeated Foothill, 80-65,
to advance to the second round. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Warriors Make Noise in DIII Playoffs
Season Ends in Quarterfinals to Hoover-Fresno

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News, on March 3, 2011

Two years ago, the Warriors hosted Foothill and lost in a 54-49 upset, marking an early and bitter exit from the Division III playoffs.

This past week, Tehachapi turned the table on the Trojans in a big way, exercising post-season revenge with an 80-65 victory in a match-up of two peaking teams from Kern County.

With the win, Mountain Basketball clinched a berth in the CIF Central Section Division III quarterfinals, recording an upset in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

"I think every year we enter the playoffs with a bit of a chip on our shoulder," said head coach Chris Olofson. "We were surprised we didn't get a home game this year, especially the way we were playing these past few weeks. It felt good to give the kind of performance that we did."

Tehachapi wasted little time establishing their game plan early on against Foothill, blitzing to a 27-9 first quarter lead behind two early three-pointers and 12 points total from Levi Garrett.

Garrett would go on to finish the game with 22 points and six assists, while point guard Cory Lange had 26 points and nine rebounds and Travis Farewell owning the paint with 13 points and nine boards.

"When we came out on the court we set the tone," added Olofson. "They (Foothill) didn't look comfortable against a zone and they were getting frustrated. Our guys took advantage and executed."

The Garrett, Farewell and Lange show continued through halftime and into the fourth quarter, where the game was all but iced and substitutions starting to rotate in for the Warriors.

Tehachapi (15-13) put the game away for good with a Garrett lay-up just under seven minutes remaining, putting the score at 69-38 and forcing a Foothill timeout.

Other game highlights came from Justin Hedberg finishing with 11 points, Nick Buttcane with four points and Kash Knudson with four assists.

"We had a lot of opportunities in transition and we always had three guards ready to run," Olofson said. "It was good to see the momentum from the Bakersfield Christian game carry over to the playoffs."

Last Friday, Mountain Basketball closed their season with a 76-66 loss to Division III #1 seed Hoover. Tehachapi built an early 10-6 lead in the contest and tied the game at 43-43 late in the third quarter, but Hoover was able to fight off the upset to record the win.

The Patriots were frequent visitors to the free throw line with 24 points scored, proving to be the difference in the season ending Warrior defeat.

Tehachapi also was in foul trouble for the majority of the game, with big men Dallas Scaggs and Hedberg both with four fouls midway through the third quarter.

Cory Lange finished a standout effort with a double-double, 26 points and 12 rebounds, including seven assists and eight blocks. Justin Hedberg also had 12 points, Kash Knudson eight points, and Levi Garrett nine points and nine rebounds.

"We wished we could have made it farther, but our guys battled," said Olofson. "Our guys peaked at the right time and gave it all they had. In the end, that's all you can ask for."