The Turlock (9-9 overall, 0-2 CCC) Bulldogs girls basketball team was coming off a 66-51 win over Davis on Saturday but followed it up with a tough loss at home on Tuesday at the hands of Central California Conference foe Merced High.
Merced came out hot from the onset, getting up early on Turlock, but the ‘Dogs battled back and cut the lead to single digits before falling at the end for their second consecutive league loss, 62-52.
“It was pretty close, but they went ahead early and were hot from the outside,” said Turlock head coach Mark Musselman. “We just had an off night defensively and they dominated early on.”
It was the second most points that Turlock has allowed all year since giving up 68 back on Dec. 10 at the hands of Modesto Christian.
“It was uncharacteristic of us,” said Musselman of the defensive effort for the night.
After the first quarter, Turlock trailed by six points, but by halftime, Merced had gone up by 9 with a score of 38-29.
Merced led by as many as 12 during the game, but Turlock cut it to four points in the third at 41-45 with two minutes left. By the end of the third Turlock trailed 51-41.
Jaydon Williams led all scorers with 23 for the night while adding on 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and a pair of steals and in just her second game back. Shea Williams scored 15 points for the game.
“It was kind of a tale of two halves,” said Musselman. “We had a couple critical turnovers and we had to put press out there to close gap but our defense was not the normal defense we play.”
Turlock and Merced scored the same in the fourth at 11 apiece, but it was not enough to secure a comeback for the ‘Dogs who have now lost three of their last four games.
Sarah Musselman scored 6 points and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
Turlock’s Hope Salsig was out of Tuesday’s game after sustaining a minor shoulder injury. She is expected to return before the week ends.
Turlock made only 13 of its 27 free throws for the game.
The next game for Turlock will be at home against Buhach Colony at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.