After a three game slump Turlock High’s girls finally got back to their winning ways with a 50-44 victory over Atwater High (2-11 CCC). The Bulldogs (9-4 CCC), who were without head coach Salinda Mabie for the third time, rallied behind assistant coach Marjorie Walker in a must win game.
Turlock and Atwater started Thursday’s matchup with back to back three point shots, an early indication of how the game would be played. Turlock’s defense stifled the Falcons early as its offense utilized the inside combination of Shiloh Soto (17 points) and Gabriela Belmonte(17 points) to put points on the board. The Falcons didn’t stay down for long though and by the end of the first quarter Turlock led by one point. Both teams heated up in the second quarter and Atwater managed to momentarily take a one point lead. Turlock answered with a nine point run, however, taking a 29-23 lead at the half.
“We’re playing under different circumstances, but these girls still work hard,” Walker said.
The second half was a mirror of the first. Turlock’s offense was cold for the majority of the third quarter but its defense held strong to keep the Falcons at bay. At the end of the third the Bulldogs once again held a one point lead, setting up a low scoring but drama filled fourth quarter.
“They got really hot shooting tonight,” Walker said of Atwater.
As in the first half Turlock’s post and inside game proved to be the difference. The Bulldogs only managed to score nine fourth quarter points but it was more than Atwater’s four and enough to win the game.
“The girls are working hard and playing strong, so it was a good win for them,” Walker said. “They deserve to win.”
Turlock now sits in second place, one game behind Buhach Colony High in the Central California Conference standings.