Turlock High’s Central California Conference slide continued on Tuesday against Merced High—but so did its streak of no-quit play.
The Lady Bulldogs hosted the Bears in what became a 55-32 loss, but after scoring only two points in the first quarter, Turlock’s girls managed to turn things around and shrink the gap on the scoreboard.
“The effort’s always there, they always play hard. I mean, Merced beat us by 50 last time around, so there’s some improvement,” Turlock head coach Mark Musselman said.
Junior Sianna Cruz notched Turlock’s sole points of the first quarter while the second quarter belonged to seniors Karly Schuman and Valerie Belew who scored five and four points, respectively, to bring the score to 36-12 at the half.
Schuman continued to lead her team in scoring in the second as she added eight more points to her total in her final home game as a Bulldog.
“I can’t say enough about the seniors. I’m their fourth varsity coach in four years. Everybody else from that freshman team bailed, they’re the ones that showed character. They stuck with it and kept working hard,” Musselman said. “They’re great kids; I hate to see them go. I wish I would have had them for four years.”
While Turlock struggled to find shooting lanes, first-place Merced scored early and often as its girls were led by Lexi Thompson and Symone Gilliam who finished the night with a respective 11 points and nine points.
Schuman finished the night with 12 points.
Turlock will now travel to play Atwater High on Thursday before taking on rival Pitman High – Turlock’s sole CCC win came against the Pride — in the final game of the season next week.
“The goal’s the same as it was in the beginning of the year: to keep getting better every game out,” Musselman said. “We want to win Thursday against Atwater and we definitely want to beat Pitman, but other than that we want to keep getting better and give more time to the younger players and let the seniors enjoy their last games.”