Lady Warriors basketball
Xs and Arrows
January 21, 2023
I like to believe that I am not a sucker, but I am easily persuaded to assist a friend in need or do something that benefits the kids. Combine the two and have it benefit kids in athletics and I am unable to say no. Yes, it is a curse and yes, my wife is constantly annoyed at my lack of ability to say no.
But a couple of times this season I have been asked by my friend and fellow Warriors press junkie Tom Shea to fill in for him as public address announcer for Warrior basketball so he could travel for work. I did the gig for a few years during Tom's absence out of state and he is always willing and able to fill in for yours truly should I be unable to announce a football game. So, of course, factoring in friendship, benefit to the kids and specific kids in athletics, the answer was yes.
Most of this entails covering Tehachapi High School girls varsity basketball games. I know from previous experience that our Lady Warriors are always contenders, and despite losing a boatload of talent since the last time I did their games a few years ago, I cannot explain in the parameters of this column and in these pages just how good this team appears to be.
First: Size? Check. I hate to say this, but our girl's team has more size combined than our boy's team. Not sure why we seem to be growing tall girls up here while the boys seem to be waiting longer to hit that growth spurt, but let's just say that it must be nice for head coach Scott Sheen to turn around and choose which 6-foot tall or taller player he would like on the court at any given time.
But it is not just the tall players that make this team special. There is a certain chemistry in this team's ability to defend well together forcing their opponents into over 14 turnovers per game while recording an average of 16 steals per contest, as well. Tehachapi is also blocking an average of six shots per game while also shooting 44% from the field. With a 15-1 record at the time of publication and so far, cruising through South Yosemite Mountain League play, Tehachapi is poised once again to not only win another league championship but put themselves into contention for a CIF Central Section title, something that has alluded this program since 1980.
Tehachapi is currently the top-ranked girls varsity basketball team in Kern County with a 15-1 record that includes wins over Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield Christian. For the Central Section conversation, Tehachapi is currently ranked 3rd in their base Division 3, meaning come playoff time the Lady Warriors could end up as one of the top seeds in the Division or potentially be moved into the Division II bracket due to their success. Time will tell, but given Tehachapi's previous history in Division II, it would not be surprising if the Lady Warriors were bumped up a notch come next month's playoff seedings.
In a complicated athletics world, there continues to be something pure about high school sports, especially those held in small communities. It is refreshing to unplug for a few hours and provide yourself some time to just connect with the game in front of you. It helps to win a little, too, as that makes the experience for the students and fans much better. So, when I say "yes" and put myself back into working a few of these games, there are several charitable and personal reasons, too. And it helps to be excited about the success for our young ladies on the court and for our community in general.
I hope you will take my recommendation to personally enjoy the remaining games. Appreciate the purity of it all and relish in one of the wonderful things about living here in Tehachapi.
Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter, broadcaster and athletics administrator. He advocates for the value of athletic competition and serves as the President of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.