Turlock’s varsity boys water polo team came out ready to play on Tuesday night when they faced off against their crosstown rivals in Pitman High.
Working behind an impressive team performance, the Bulldogs were not going to be denied a victory after scoring the game’s first six goals. Although Pitman put up their fair share of points, Turlock responded every time, eventually coming out of Pitman High with a 17-12 win.
“We definitely want to fire on all cylinders all the time, but when we play well we can play with anybody,” said Turlock head coach Aaron Weiss. “Now, it is starting to show on the game with this performance that we can reach our potential.”
“I am not sure if it’s the crosstown thing and we get emotional and kind of let down, but it’s been an issue, not moving well and when we lose it, it’s a big deficit and it won’t come as easy,” said Pitman head coach Ryan Bullard.
Jakob Bradley led all scorers with six goals and Mykal Garton tacked on three goals with six steals behind Gabe Sleeper’s 10 saves for the game as the Bulldogs are now 3-1 in the Central California Conference.
Pitman drops to 0-5 in the CCC after Tuesday’s home contest against Turlock.
Bradley had two of the team’s first five goals in Tuesday’s game and by the half, the ‘Dogs had gone up 9-4 after completing controlling the game.
Pitman failed to convert opportunities, as Turlock kept pushing its full press on defense, taking a huge 17-6 lead after the third period.
Pitman tacked on a five goals in the fourth and did not allow a goal to be scored by Turlock, but by this point it was too late and the ‘Dogs had secured the win.
“We need to show everyone how I know we can play and I know we can play great,” said Weiss. “Especially with a crosstown rivalry and we wanted to show anyone we are the toughest team in town, but I think we had a better team tonight.”
Turlock also had three players with two goals each — Cameron Dhanowa and Jared and Dylan Bernardi.
“Our effort needs to be there from the start and I don’t know if we overthink each game but we stayed stagnant. [It] is a testament that we can fight all four periods,” Bullard added. “We just have to apply it throughout the game and drive our offense, but we gave Turlock so many counter opportunities and that hurt us in the long run.”
The next game for Turlock will be at home against Atwater High at 4 p.m. Thursday.