Turlock Christian’s girls basketball team officially ended its season on Saturday after a 61-57 loss to St. Joseph Notre Dame High in the second round of state playoffs. The loss caps off the best performance from a girls basketball team in TC’s history which included a SAL championship and an appearance in the Division V SJS Championship game.
“It was a good, exciting game,” TC’s head coach Edwin Santiago said. “It was tough to lose but I think we gave all we had.”
The Eagles (27-5 overall) entered Saturday’s game against the Pilots (24-10 overall) as underdogs but when they stepped on the court they showed that they were true contenders. TC outscored the Pilots in the first quarter 16-11 as Halie Bergman (22 points) and Natalie Snyder (17 points) led the Eagle offense. St. Joseph played tough, however, getting the better of the offensive exchanges in the second quarter. Still, TC entered halftime with a one point lead.
After halftime both teams were confident in their chances to win. The third quarter was split even as both teams scored 16 points. Bergman continued to find the basket as Pilot Desiree Harris (30 points) did the same. Harris continued to dominate the boards as the game progressed into the final quarter. TC’s defenders took turns guarding her to no avail.
Costly turnovers gave St. Josephs the lead late in the game before a Snyder trey brought the Eagles within two points of the Pilots with 32 seconds in regulation. After half a minute of keep away St. Joseph shot and sank its final basket of the game with two seconds on the clock, ensuring a Pilot win.
“There was never a time when one team dominated the other,” Santiago said. “We just ran out of time.”
With a historic season behind them TC must now look forward to next season. Key players Rebekah Muller, Marly Burton, and Snyder will be gone but Bergman will return.
“We’ll be a different team,” Santiago said. “We’ll be a good team and successful, but we won’t be able to replicate this season with those players gone.”