Turlock High hosted Manteca High Friday night and from the tip off it was apparent that the Bulldogs would have a difficult time wrangling the Buffaloes.
Fresh off close losses, both Turlock and Manteca stepped onto the court of Bulldog Arena with one thing in mind—bounce back and regroup in time for league play. Only Manteca managed to achieve that goal, however, as the Bulldogs were outscored 50-25 by game’s end.
Manteca began the night with 14 unanswered points, a product of solid defense and shifty ball handling. Jasmine Odell led the way on defense, helping cause a handful of turnovers and keep Turlock off the scoreboard the entire first quarter. As they were smothered by defenders, the Bulldogs began to take desperate shots that failed to fall.
By halftime the score read 23-9.
“We didn’t really know much about Turlock so we were just trying to build on our previous game of playing solid man to man defense,” Manteca’s head coach Cody Norman said. “We got kind of lucky because they hit a cold streak at the free throw line so I think that let us get that lead until we broke it open at the end of the third quarter.”
While Turlock struggled with free throws Manteca went 14 for 24 from the line. Manteca also dominated from the perimeter as Jessica Hasal made 6 of the Buffaloes’ 7 treys on the night.
“Jessica did really well at the three point line last game as well. She can make her shots and when she gets into rhythm she definitely has more of a green light than other players,” Norman said.
Turlock’s offense picked up in the second half but an inability to hold onto the ball or find the basket kept the score lopsided. The Bulldogs must now pick up the pieces over Christmas break in time for the beginning of Central California Conference play against Buhach Colony High on Jan. 10.
Manteca’s Christmas break will be short-lived due to the scheduled Tracy Tournament starting Dec. 26.