For the second time in two games, the Turlock Christian girls basketball players started out slowly.
And for the second time in two games, it didn’t matter.
The Eagles used another strong second quarter to win a playoff game, this time a 64-35 triumph over Wilton Christian High on Thursday night that sends them to the semifinals of the Division V Tournament. That game will be held Tuesday at Galt High, with the time yet to be announced.
Turlock Christian is now just one win away from reaching Arco Arena in Sacramento — once again the site of the Section title game — for the second consecutive year. But first, the No. 2 Eagles will have to get through No. 2 Brookside Christian.
Coach Edwin Santiago said his Eagles have been anticipating Tuesday’s matchup since the beginning of the season. The winner will likely face Bradshaw Christian, the three-time defending Section champion.
On Thursday, the Eagles (21-8 overall) only had a 15-10 edge after one quarter against a team they had beaten by just eight points during a preseason tournament. Two days earlier, they had only a 17-13 first-period edge against Elliot Christian before easily winning 78-30.
But with a full house at Calvary Baptist Gym against Wilton Christian, the TC players stepped it up in the second.
“That second period was intense,” Santiago said. “We definitely put the heat on.”
Rebekah Muller made sure of it. The junior had all of her nine points in that quarter to go along with a handful of steals, helping the Eagles to a 43-20 halftime lead. It also helped that senior Kaisa Spycher used her 6-foot frame to prevent Wilton Christian from successfully inbounding the ball after a Turlock Christian point.
The Eagles then held the Patriots (17-9 overall) to single digits in the final two periods.
Spycher had a team-high 15 points, while Molly Farrar and Natalie Snyder contributed with 12 and 11, respectively. Marly Burton finished with 15 of Turlock Christian’s 54 rebounds.
Now, the Eagles are headed to Galt.
“It’s very uplifting and motivating to have an opportunity to play at Galt High,” Santiago said. “We’re looking forward to giving our best effort.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.