It was a low scoring affair when Turlock High and Pitman High met for their second league game of the season Wednesday night. The Bulldogs (7-4) and Pride (7-4) once again engaged in a close contest but it was Turlock who got the better of the exchanges this time, holding on for a 46-39 win.
“Every time Turlock and Pitman plays it’s a battle,” Turlock’s head coach Doug Cornfoot said. “Every time we play it’s like this.”
Turlock entered Wednesday’s matchup a game behind Pitman in the CCC standings at fourth place. It was a must-win for the Bulldogs and a chance for the Pride to pull away in the hunt for a league title.
Pitman led the entire first quarter, distancing themselves by a few points thanks to two Skyler Sexton treys. Turlock kept up the pace, however, and trailed by only two points when the quarter ended. At the beginning of the second quarter the Bulldogs struck with a Darren Trainor three point shot, taking a lead that they would maintain the entire game. Turlock’s lead was never more than a point or two, though, and the two Turlock teams finished the first half 17-15.
The second half was a battle between Sexton’s (16 points) exploits from the three point line and Turlock’s combination of Trainor (13 points) and Dashawn Holcombe (13 points). Sexton’s five treys kept Pitman in the game, closing the Bulldogs’ lead by a point and tying the score in key moments.
“He hits the big shots and he’s not afraid to take them,” Cornfoot said of Sexton.
Meanwhile, Turlock utilized Trainor’s perimeter shooting and Holcombe’s inside game to keep the Pride at bay. Turlock led by four points or less for the majority of the second half and only led by one point with two minutes left in regulation. With the clock winding down players from both teams desperately scrambled for the basketball as Turlock tried to keep the ball out of Sexton’s hands and Pitman hoped for another comeback win. Turlock’s defense stood its ground, holding Pitman to only two free throw points as the Bulldog offense drained six free throws of their own to secure the win.
“Defensively we stepped up,” Cornfoot said. “The last minute and a half we controlled the boards and I was happy about that.”
The victory created a tie for third place between the cross-town rivals heading into Friday’s matchups.