The first post-season step for Turlock Christian High’s girls basketball team is over and done with after a 63-51 victory over Foresthill High Thursday night.
The Eagles (24-4 overall, 13-1 SAL)fed off the energy of their home crowd in a game that was sometimes close but always in their hands. A 21 point first quarter set the tone of the San Joaquin Section Division V matchup and sent the Wildfires into a mode of catch-up that they were unable to complete.
The win not only advanced TC to the SJS DV semifinals, it also guaranteed the squad a place in the State Playoff Tournament.
“It feels good because now we have at least two games left. No matter what happens on Wednesday we earned a spot in the State Playoffs,” TC’s head coach Edwin Santiago said. “It takes the pressure off it being our last game on Wednesday so we can just play.”
Once again TC was led by senior Halie Bergman. Bergman took turns working on the inside and dishing the ball to the outside to senior Arin Morelli who let loose with multiple three point shots. Bergman notched 18 first half points despite picking up three fouls in the first quarter alone.
“It’s one thing to play the occasional great game, but to play as well as often as she does is a sign of how good she is,” Santiago said. “People expect it from her and she delivers every time.”
Bergman continued her production in the second half and racked up 30 points by the game’s end. While Bergman paved the way on offense, Morelli and senior Kate Farrar shored up the Eagle defense. Farrar was given the task of covering Foresthill’s best shooter senior Sadie Stroup—a task she excelled at—while Morelli stalked the court looking for steals and interceptions. Farrar ended her night with 18 rebounds and two steals and Morelli finished with nine rebounds and four steals.
“I thought it was going to be a close game from the beginning so I’m happy with the way we performed,” Santiago said.
TC must now travel to Galt High School on Wednesday where they will take on Capital Christian High of Sacramento.
“We need to be able to perform with man to man defense,” Santiago said. “We don’t have to out rebound them, but we have to stay with them in rebounding and we should be fine.”