The Turlock Christian boys basketball squad on Tuesday finished a season sweep against their Southern Athletic League rivals, the Denair Coyotes, after a 62-43 win at home.
Down only four points after the opening quarter with a 9-13 score, the Eagles of TC pressed hard against the Coyotes and forced them to take outside shots that failed to go in while a spark triggered the offense for TC.
The Eagles went on a 13-6 run to end the second quarter as they extended the lead to double-digits and the lead was held on after an impressive performance from the big guys inside led by Brady Turner, Kameron Vogt, Jordan Riise and Ben Van Vliet.
“It’s tough to beat a team three times and nothing to take away from Denair, they have come so far, and they have played really tough especially as of lately.. RJ [Henderson] has them playing well,” TC head coach Eddie Sai said.
After Tuesday night’s win, the Eagles have reached 17 wins for the first time since the 2005-06 season, holding a 17-8 overall posting along with a 9-3 SAL with two home league games left.
The big man Turner finished the game with a team-high in points tallying 14 for the game along with six rebounds and five blocks. Riise topped out with nine points and seven boards.
“Although we did start off slow again today, I think it was our size that really came through with rebounding and being able to get the easy shots inside,” Sai said.
Senior Salvador Dela Cruz of Denair topped out with a game-high 21 points. The next leading scorer for the Coyotes was Vince Fuentes who tallied five.
It was a struggle for the Coyotes who had to look for outside shots due to the size advantage for the Eagles but the shots didn’t seem to fall in when they needed it.
The Coyotes would cut the deficit to 10 points in the middle of the third quarter with a 39-29 score, but the Eagles went on a 7-3 run to end the quarter, with Turner tacking on six of those points and extending the lead to 14 once again.
The paint became the best friend for the Eagles who found baskets late in the game from their interior game and it was senior Josh Wright who made all this possible with his ability to hold on to the ball and make critical passes when needed.
“Mostly, my teammates giving me the opportunity and opening the shots for me to get some easy baskets was what helped,” Wright said about the game against Denair. “The big guys we have down low can just get the ball and take some pressure off and I can find the open look.”
Wright, who has been a key player for coach Sai all season long, finished with 11 points, six assists and four boards.
“We had a good offense today and made consistent passes, and we got the open people down low and our outside shooting was good,” Wright added.
There are only two games left for each squad. Both the Eagles and Coyotes will play at home on Friday night.
With the opportunity to capture the second place spot in league, the Eagles of TC will host the Mariposa Grizzlies, who are undefeated in league thus far, with the game set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We played Mariposa all summer, so we know each other very well and we will come in healthy, it will be a battle so we will prepare and the best team will win. We will need to play turnover free, they're a very good team and we will see what happens,” Sai said.