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Bulldogs fall to Falcons
Turlock girls pic1
Junior Alexia Oliveira of Turlock High tries to find a path in between two Atwater defenders during Tuesday nights 30-50 loss. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Turlock High’s girls basketball squad has lost 18 straight games — with every single one of those losses due to second half mistakes.

On Tuesday night, things didn’t change much for the Lady Bulldogs who hosted Atwater High.

The ‘Dogs were up for most of the game, until the final 10 minutes when the Falcons went on a 23-2 run to close the game as they edged out their Central California Conference rivals in a 30-50 final.

“It was two different teams in both halves. We stopped being aggressive on the defensive side. Especially, once Alexa got in foul trouble in the third,” Turlock head coach Mark Musselman said.

Up 28-27, Turlock’s Alexia Oliveira picked up her fourth foul with two minutes left in the third and was subbed out immediately, the Falcons then took advantage as they went on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter and start a surge.

Thirty-three turnovers later, and a fourth quarter slump led to the demise of the ‘Dogs who were held to only two points in the final quarter.

“We stopped being aggressive offensively and most of our turnovers came in that second half,” Musselman said. “In that second half, Atwater killed us on the offensive boards. They were getting two to three opportunities.”

Atwater was led by a plethora of players with the help of Alexis Bautista, Maritza Hernandez, Heaven Mazon, Natalie Govea and Sharai Sanchez.

All five players scored at least six points for a Falcons team that played a tough defensive game in the second half, forcing Turlock to play out of sync and ultimately pull out the win.

“Our girls played a great first half and also on defense,” Musselman said. “The girls played hard, they just lost focus at the end and can’t play all 32 minutes. We need make easy passes instead of hard ones, we just have to do a better job and take care of the ball.”

Freshman Shea Williams topped out with a game-high nine points and added three rebounds, a steal and a block. Senior Val Belew finished with 10 boards, four points and an assist.

Junior Sianna Cruz was able to come away with seven points, six boards and only three turnovers.

The CCC showdown between Turlock and Pitman will tip off at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday night at Turlock High.