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Bulldogs kick off CCAL with back-to-back wins
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Nataly Jimenez of Turlock High finished Thursday’s game with a team-high 10 points as the Bulldogs toppled the Modesto Panthers, 47-15 (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Head coach Salinda Padilla said that the Turlock High girls basketball team learned a lot from their preseason games and they showed their progress on Thursday night following a 47-15 road win over Modesto High to kick off league play with a 2-0 record. 

“I am fine with a 2-0 start to league since we did have a pretty tough preseason,” said Padilla about. “A lot of games we were kind of beating ourselves with unnecessary turnovers, but I am good with this since we have played Modesto in the past.” 

Turlock has now won three of their last four games. Their current record heading into the weekend stands at 7-11 overall (2-0 CCAL). 

“Next week will be a good test for us, but we just have to play within ourselves and find that identity,” said Padilla. “In this game, we started off a little slow and we are working to find who we are and I think we are not quite there yet… We are getting better every game and in preseason we saw a lot of our mistakes and hopefully we can fix those.” 

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Turlock High senior Hollie Salsig looks to dribble past a Modesto High defender during the first half of Thursday’s 47-15 road win (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

They looked well on their way to finding their groove on Thursday.

Turlock’s full court press, along with aggressive double teams, led to a turnover frenzy of a game that also led to plenty of points. The Bulldogs kept their turnovers to just 10.

The first quarter was a low scoring game after Turlock went up 7-5 following the first eight minutes of action. 

This led to a 15-2 run in the second to go up 22-7 by halftime. 

“We expected them to be scrappy, which was exactly what it was,” said Padilla. “Modesto always has a reputation of being scrappy and we knew it would be a physical game as well and we knew we had the advantage in height, didn’t really take advantage of that, but we will hopefully do better next time.” 

The second half saw a smooth transition into points off turnovers and steals. 

The Bulldogs held Modesto to just two points in the third quarter while the offense added another 15 points to take a 37-9 lead into the fourth. 

“We just started to incorporate our full court press and to see if we can do it and can that be part of who we are and change things up,” said Padilla. “This is a great example of it, but we have a lot of holes that we have to figure out and we are trying different things. We want to be able to catch people by surprise and that can be an advantage for us.” 

Turlock outscored Modesto 10-6 in the fourth. 

Nataly Jimenez of Turlock led all scorers with 10 points while a total of nine different players scored. Jayden Tosta scored eight points. Morgan Mitts added six points. Emilie Snyder scored five points. 

“We had a tough time in the first half getting the ball in the basket, it was like nothing could fall, and for them to continue to battle and the second group came in and lit it up and just fueled our squad and gave us that confidence,” said Padilla. “At halftime I told them that whoever is playing good that night is going to play.” 

Turlock’s next CCAL game will be a home contest against Enochs High at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.