Katie Avila goes up for a basket in action against Arvin earlier in the season. Avila leads the Lady Warriors in both scoring and rebounding. Photograph by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Lady Warriors Win SSL Crown

Posted February 18, 2007, by thswarriors.com

Chris Olofson and his men's varsity Warrior basketball team will charge into the playoffs Friday night by traveling north to Fresno to play the Washington Union High School Panthers.

The Warriors, winners of the SSL for the past two seasons, were dethroned this year by the Shafter Generals.

Tehachapi finished the regular season at 7-3 in league play and 19-4 for the season. Tehachapi is the #6 seed while North Sequoia League Champion Washington is the #3 seed.

Other first round games include the El Diamante-Wasco winner vs #1 Tulare; #7 Yosemite at #2 Hanford; and #5 Shafter at #4 Hanford West.

This season's rendition of Panther basketball is not the Statewide power they have been in the past --- but they're still very good. The Panthers finished 9-1 in league play, and 16-10 overall. The Panther season record is a little misleading as the Panthers played a very tough pre-season schedule including losses to County-Metro league champion Edison (Fresno) and Tri-Rivers league champ Clovis West.

The Lady Warriors dropped a heartbreaker Friday night at Bakersfield Christian, 43-46, to finish with a final 8-2 record in league play. The Warriors finish as co-champions of the SSL along with Arvin.

The Lady Warriors will travel to Visalia Thursday evening to face Redwood High School at 7:00 pm in the quarterfinals of the Division III sectional playoffs. The Rangers enter the playoffs as the #4 seed with a season record of 19-7.

The game will showcase the talents of seniors Courtney Collishaw of Redwood vs Katie Avila of Tehachapi. Collishaw, one of the top players in the section, was an All-State selection last year as a junior for her outstanding play. Avila, the Warriors leading scorer and rebounder, has a scholarship to attend Division I school Cal State Fullerton next season.

The #5 seeded Warriors, under coaches Dennis Ruggles and Bill Carll, have an overall season record of 20-4. The Warriors and Rangers have one common opponent --- El Diamante High School of Visalia. Earlier in the season, the El D Miners defeated the Warriors, while the Rangers have defeated El D three times this season, including two times in league play.

The other pairings in Division III are #8 Washington Union at #1 Hanford; #7 Dinuba at #2 Yosemite; and #6 El Diamante at #3 Cesar Chavez (Delano).

Co-champ Arvin, a much larger Division I school, will be at Bakersfield High School in the 1st round.