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Bulldog water polo advances to second round
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Turlock High’s defense held Armijo to just one goal in the first half alone of Tuesday’s Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoff first round matchup. Turlock won 13-7 (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The Turlock High boys water polo team and head coach Colin Wenstrand are ready for the next round of playoffs, following the Bulldogs’ 13-7 win over Armijo in the first round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Tuesday from the Bulldogs’ pool.

Matt Reis led the way for the Bulldogs with a hat-trick behind an offense that saw eight guys score at least one goal. They are currently 12-0 when at least four guys score.

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Turlock High’s Billy Marchy finished Tuesday’s home playoff game against Armijo with four assists and a goal. Turlock won 13-7 to advance to the second round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

“It’s always nice to get the first-round win, anything can happen in the playoffs and so you don’t want to underestimate your opponent just because they are a lower seed,” said Turlock head coach Colin Wenstrand. “We started off well; we played really good defense in the first quarter where we held them to no goals, and then when we started to rotate guys. I wanted guys fresh for the next round, so when I knew we had control of the game I wanted to mix all of our guys in.”

Turlock came out hot in the first two periods of Tuesday’s game. They shut out Armijo in the first, notching five goals in the process.

Once the first half ended, Turlock had already built a 9-1 lead.

Armijo didn’t take that laying down, however, and outscored Turlock in the second half, 6-4. The ‘Dogs were able to fend off their opponents and control the game with their backups in by the fourth.

“Doesn’t change anything or how we prepared. We prepared as if we were playing a No. 1 seed and we won,” said Wenstrand. “The good news is that we controlled the game in the first half and the good news is we got other guys to play, four sophomores that I moved up. Got them some playoffs experience for the future, so we got the win and we got a little bit of experience for all our guys.”

Turlock’s Reis had a hat trick, three steals and an assist. Lance King finished with two goals, Taylor Ward added two goals and two steals. Billy Marchy finished with four assists and a goal. Drew Folly added two goals. Jonah May finished with a goal and sophomore Jackson Thomas added a goal for the game.

Turlock advances in the postseason and will travel to Davis for the second round of the playoffs, with the game slated to start at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Turlock fell to Davis on Oct. 19 in a 13-5 loss.

“I am excited to move on and it is crazy, we get to play Davis and as I mentioned before they are the best program in the history of our section,” Wenstrand added. “We played them two weeks ago at the Delong Tournament and lost, but we played a good first half and we are hoping we can match that first half and take it to them. Having played them once and scouted them before we know what to expect, they are a three seed, but they are Davis, we have our work cut out for us, but if you want to get to the championship game you have to go through the best and bring on Davis… we are ready.”

Pitman boys water polo also defeated Lincoln of Stockton in the first round, 5-2, on Tuesday afternoon.