A three-peat will not happen for the Turlock Bulldogs at the 47th annual Frank Godinez Boys Basketball Tournament. After a dominant 63-43 win over the Grace Davis Spartans (Modesto) in the opening round on Thursday, they were stumped by the Golden Valley Cougars (Merced) by a 62-56 score Friday night.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play in the third-place game against the East Union Lancers (Manteca) at 4:30 p.m. today. Meanwhile, the championship game between Golden Valley and last year’s runner-up, the Venture Academy Mustangs, will take place immediately after at approximately 6 p.m. The Mustangs defeated the Lancers 58-49 in Friday’s second semifinal game.
Consolation games are Davis against Modesto at 1:30 p.m. today and Johansen (Modesto) against Oakdale at 3 p.m.
In Turlock’s matchup against Golden Valley, the sharpshooting of the Cougars, particularly that of senior shooting guard Braden Castleton, was no match for the Bulldog defense. The senior began the game scoring his team’s first 12 points, all by way of the three ball. He finished his night with five three-pointers and 22 points to lead all scorers. Ricardo Perez and Joseph Spielman also finished in double figures for the Cougars with 12 points each.
Early in the third quarter, Turlock found themselves trailing by 20 points, but guard Nels Johnson came off the bench to provide a spark and get the Bulldogs within 10 to start the fourth quarter. His 10 points, five rebounds and two forced turnovers all came in the second half. But it was simply too little, too late.
Behind Johnson, Dutch Lawrence, Jeremiah Evans and Andrew Johnson each pitched in with nine points. Andrew, the much taller of the Johnson’s on the roster, also filled the stat sheet with his eight rebounds to lead all players.