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Bulldogs enter league play with momentum moving forward
The Bulldogs score a home opener victory Thursday defeating Johanson 18-12. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The final non conference game for Turlock High boys’ water polo proved the team’s strength is deeper than the first string players.

“It was one of those games where everyone gets to play,” said Aaron Weiss, Turlock head coach. “We knew [Johansen] was young so it was one of those motivated type of games.”

Jakob Bradley had a great performance with five goals, Mykel Garton had three, and Dylan Bernardi, Jared Bernardi, Joseph Rose and Christian Weaver all contributed two apiece.

“I was happy with Joe Rose and Blaine Webber, combining for three goals,” said Weiss. “They came off the bench and played very well today.”

Turlock scored right off the opening drive in the first minute and dominated throughout the game, finishing with a final score of 18-12.

“Our whole goal is to play like a team. When I came here there was a lot of talent, but a lot of individual play as well,” said Weiss. “I told the guys, ‘If we are going to get to the next level, we need to play like a team and use that talent.’ So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

In the course of events and substitutions made, Johansen scored seven goals in the fourth quarter alone, but Turlock buckled down on defense and Gabe Sleeper had a few blocks that halted momentum for the Vikings.

“The point was I really wanted everybody to play in this game and of course to win,” said Weiss. “So at the end of the fourth when it got tough I started putting more of the starters back in for insurance– I’m still proud of how everyone played, and I’m proud of the team.”

Both teams competed to the final buzzer, Turlock forcing a shot clock violation with 1:05 left in play and moving the ball on offense to use up the clock to finish the game.

The team opens against Golden Valley for their first league game Thursday at 4 p.m. in Merced.