Wednesday was a busy day for Pitman and Turlock High athletics as three different league champions were crowned in three different sports with girls basketball being the third and final game of the afternoon between the two crosstown rivals.
Led by a trio of senior captains, the Bulldogs of Turlock were crowned the first ever Central California Athletic League champs after they came out on top in a winner-take-all game on Wednesday night over the Pride that ended 54-43. The win was also their seventh straight.
“We prepared the whole time for Pitman. We knew how they would play and what they had, so we were prepared,” said Turlock head coach John Williams. “We knew they would pressure and double Jaydon which they did. But I don’t know if they were ready for Jada, she stepped up and knocked down shots and Sofia played great as well. The whole team played together.”
Turlock looked to two of their senior captains who came up big throughout the game in Jada Washington and Sofia Andres.
Andres notched a team-high 17 points as Washington added 13. Jaydon Williams was held to three points for the game.
“We tried to make a strong effort to stop Jaydon and I thought we did a better job tonight,” said Pitman head coach Dustin Curtiss. “I thought we did a decent job on her, but her supporting cast played well tonight, they got some buckets that were big.”
Turlock went into the halftime break, leading 27-21.
Pitman fought the best they could, but Turlock extended their lead to double digits by the start of the fourth, leading by as much as 13.
The Pride cut the lead to six with the help of everyone, including Jessica Smith who scored a team-high 17.
Once the lead was cut to 45-39, Turlock went on a 9-4 run to secure the win.
“They got a lot of big plays. I thought we prepared and were ready to go, but we did not make many shots really,” said Curtiss. “Our goal every year to make it to the playoffs. Our next goal is to win a playoff game which is going to be tough, but that is the next goal.”
Turlock closes the year with an overall record of 20-7 and 9-1 in CCAL play.
Pitman finishes the year at 16-10 and 8-2. The Pride’s only league losses came at the hands of Turlock High.
“We really challenged ourselves early on and probably gave away a couple games early on that we could have had,” Curtiss added. “But I am happy with the way we battled and the way we fought, just didn’t make the baskets we needed to.”
Both Turlock and Pitman High advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with an opponent and time yet to be determined. For the latest brackets visit cifsjs.org.