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Pride girls top Bulldogs in first meeting of year
pitman girls basketball
Rayden Simmons of Pitman High scored a team-high 16 points in Tuesday’s 65-50 win over Turlock High (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The Pitman High girls basketball team’s long-range shooting was on point on Tuesday, earning them a 65-50 victory over crosstown rivals Turlock High.

“Obviously it is a big game, a rivalry game, as it always is, especially coming in here, but we just came out and played really well in the first half,” said Pitman head coach Dustin Curtiss.

“They shot the lights out and made everything they threw up in the first half,” said THS head coach Salinda Padilla. “I thought we played them great in the third quarter and the second half was better, but the first half they shot the lights out and we didn’t have an answer for that. We didn’t have any offense and they came out like they were ready to win the CCAL championship.” 

Pitman girls basketball 3
Morgan Mitts of Turlock High goes for a shot during Tuesday’s 65-50 loss to Pitman High. Mitts scored a team-high 19 points (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Pitman didn’t seem to miss many shots, especially from the three-point line. 

Pitman built a 22-8 lead after the first quarter that saw them drain four three-pointers in the final 2:20 to close out the quarter. 

The Pride outscored the Bulldogs in the second quarter, 20-14, and were backed by a combination of offensive plays that also transitioned to five threes. There was a point in the second quarter where Pitman knocked down nine out of 10 three-pointers. 

Pitman’s 42-22 at the half slowly started to diminish to kick off the third. 

“We had a lot of energy, but I think they had more energy than we did in the second half,” said Curtiss. 

The Bulldogs changed things up at the half. 

Turlock outscored Pitman in the third quarter, 16-11, and also scored four to kick off the fourth quarter. 

“We went back to man-to-man and showed what their offense looked like. We didn’t adjust in the first half,” said Padilla. “We kind of just kept going and doing the same thing and then finally in the second half we made adjustments on what they were trying to do and got more aggressive on the ball, went full court press and tried to get in a rhythm. For us, our defense propels our offense.” 

Things looked like they were going to possibly turnaround for Turlock which cut the lead to 11 points, twice, in the final 6:20. 

Pitman was eventually able to close out the game and win by 15, despite the late push from Turlock. 

“We had a big enough lead that we were able to maintain it, but it was a big win for us. It is a big win on the road,” said Curtiss on snapping Turlock’s five game winning streak. “We have four of the last five games at home, so it was a big to get this road win, we had some, but we had already lost to Gregori and didn’t want to lose two on the road.” 

Turlock’s top scorers included Morgan Mitts (19), Hollie Salsig (16) and Nataly Jimenez (15). 

Pitman’s Rayden Simmons finished the game with a team-high 16 points while Malaikah Kashif added 10 points, making three threes. Abbie Digrazia added nine points and Jessica Smith added seven points. 

Since the 2014-2015 season, Pitman is 6-3 against Turlock, under the leadership of coach Curtiss. 

The first half of league play concluded on Tuesday, with Turlock, Pitman and Gregori all sitting in first place with a 4-1 CCAL record. On Thursday, Pitman defeated Enochs, 71-43, to improve to 5-1 in CCAL play and take the lead.