Turlock High’s girls were without their team captain and leading scorer Tuesday night when they hosted Merced High. The Bulldogs (6-1 CCC) weren’t fazed, however, and breezed by the Bears (2-4 CCC) 43-29.
“They have the will right now; they want to win and prove that we’re contenders,” Turlock’s head coach Salinda Mabie said. “Everyone stepped up.”
The Bulldogs took an early lead in the low scoring game. Halfway through the first quarter Merced was able to put together an eight point run to tie the game but it would be the closest the Bears would get to success. Seconds before the first quarter ended Turlock retook the lead for good.
Three second quarter three pointers and tough defensive play helped Turlock take a 24-14 lead at the half.
“Our girls have turned a corner since the Buhach game,” Mabie said. “We’re playing better and better and they’re doing things we’ve been trying to get them to do for a long time.”
After the half Turlock continued to use its defense as its anchor, holding Merced to single shots that were often off target. Gabriela Belmonte (10 points) was at home in the paint as she took on Merced’s Dalonna Jones who towered over the players. Aubrey Glidden (8 points) and Lindy Avila (8 points) also assisted on offense with perimeter shooting and impressive drives to the basket.
Turlock, who entered the game in a tie for first with Buhach High, must now face Atwater High in a rare Saturday game.
“The last few games we’ve been playing really well but we don’t want to underestimate anybody,” Mabie said.
To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.