Cassie Balswick’s triple-double helped lift her Turlock Christian squad over Stockton Christian at home in the opening round of the Sac Joaquin Section D-VI tournament on Tuesday night.
All but the second quarter went TC’s way after foul trouble, but the press from the young defense led by sophomores Balswick and Meghan Mark, helped secure the 60-46 win and a berth into the semifinal.
Balswick finished the night with 12 points, 12 assists and 15 steals.
“It was good competition and overall I feel we played well. We did have some foul trouble, but we overcame that; we just worked as a single unit,” Balswick said.
With less than one minute into the second quarter, TC had built up a 17-4 lead but when Mark was called for a foul, she was subbed out and SC went on an 18-4 run to take the lead going into the locker room at the half by a score of 22-21.
“I had to sit Meghan in the second quarter and that hurt us. Our effort was there, but the difference was our ability to pressure them,” Turlock Christian head coach Edwin Santiago said.
A 39-24 second half outpour by TC sealed the deal as Mark and Balswick led the shutdown defense, putting pressure on Stockton Christian’s Taylor Martin and Jayla Patzer, who were held in check after the third quarter.
When it came down to it, TC’s defense stepped it up in the second half and it was a complete team effort that helped keep SC on the tip of their toes and unsteady for the remainder of the game.
“I feel it’s a very different team than we had last year but we are very strong and we're building as a team and that’s all we need to keep doing to win,” lone TC senior Monique McMeechan said.
With only one senior in this year’s squad and more sophomores than any other grade (six), the Eagles of Turlock Christian have had a successful year with 19 wins and now hope to make a title run.
It will not be an easy task for TC as they have to get through a very evenly matched squad in the second seeded Sacramento Adventist, who beat up on #7 Freedom Christian 64-39 on Tuesday night.
“Everybody on the team tries their hardest and if one tries hard, we all do, so it’s a good role to be there and I don’t think it was just me it was the whole team and we motivate each other to not give up and play as a team,” Balswick said.
Mark topped out with a team-high 14 points, while sophomore Aimee Jones finished with a dozen points of her own.
The semifinal match at Sacramento Adventist is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday night.