Turlock High is back for the 2012-13 Central California Conference basketball season and eager to climb its way back to the top. The Bulldogs are without their leading scorer of the last two years, Alek Carlson, but the return of seniors DaShawn Holcombe, Tyler Murphy, Darren Trainor, and Austin Bush has left head coach Doug Cornfoot with an optimistic outlook for the season.
“We got a good mixture of young guys and guys who played and started for us last year,” Cornfoot said. “Everybody’s getting along and working hard, so we’re excited.”
Sophomore additions like Kenny Fraser, Devin Bains, and Hilmar High transfer Demsen McFaddin are a big part of Turlock’s high expectations, having shown themselves capable of both dealing with older competition physically and putting points on the board.
“Last year we had to look for Carlson to be our scorer. This year we’ve played two games already and we’ve had several guys that have been our leading scorer,” Cornfoot said. “The thing I like about his year is that I think we’re deeper. We’ve got more options and more guys we can look to score.”
Turlock’s new points by committee approach has not only taken the pressure off a single player and spread it around, but it’s also served as a confidence boost for the team. As the team develops, Cornfoot hopes his newfound depth will make for a more complex defensive game plan from other teams.
“If the starters aren’t doing it or somebody’s having an off night we have all the confidence that some of the other guys can come right in and go,” Cornfoot said. “The closer we come as a team and support each other the better we’ll be.”
If the Bulldogs’ plans of a CCC Championship are to be realized they must quickly develop that all important team chemistry. With Buhach Colony, Atwater, and Merced High returning with seasoned teams the CCC title race is expected to be an exciting one.
“Everybody’s going to be tough,” Cornfoot said. “This year could be wide open. On any given night anybody could beat anybody.”
With a 72-46 win over Modesto High already in the books Turlock’s pre-season continues tonight against Enochs High in the Modesto Metro Conference Tournament. Although the Bulldogs' performance won't have an impact on their CCC aspirations it may influence their ranking for a potential post-season run.
“It’s a good way to scout early and match up against teams from other leagues,” Cornfoot said.
Today’s game against Enochs will be played at Gregori High at 6:30 p.m.