For the second year in a row Halie Bergman has led Turlock Christian High to a first round win in the CIF Division V California State Girls Basketball Tournament. Bergman notched 39 points, 18 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists, and 6 blocked shots as the Eagles defeated St. Francis High, 63-56, on Wednesday and earned a second round matchup with International High tonight.
“It was an unbelievable experience for us,” TC’s head coach Edwin Santiago said.
TC’s on court experience almost followed a different script, however. After outscoring the Sharks 18-15 in the first quarter, the Eagles slumped in the second quarter and managed to score only five points. TC’s second quarter woes were a result of missed shots, many of which were wide open and uncontested, and the inside presence of St. Francis’ Lauren Price.
By halftime TC trailed 23-27.
“We had a really hard second quarter; we could not buy a basket,” Santiago said.
Facing the prospect of a second tournament elimination in as many weeks, Bergman and her team stormed the court in the third quarter determined to regain momentum. Bergman worked the Shark defense and scored 13 of TC’s 16 third quarter points. The Eagles also made adjustment to their defense, switching back to man to man which slowed down Price and her St. Francis team’s attack.
The Sharks attempted to double team Bergman in the fourth quarter but routine assists to the likes of Kate Farrar (12 points) and Monique McMeechan paved the way for 24 fourth quarter points and the completion of a second half comeback.
“There was a big difference in our approach in terms of not letting the moment overtake us,” Santiago said, comparing Wednesday’s game to his team’s loss in the SJS Division V Playoffs a week prior.
TC is now set to face International at its home court in San Francisco tonight. It will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, the first of which took place during the West Coast Jamboree and ended with a 59-32 Jaguar win.
“We are definitely a better team than we were in December,” Santiago said.
Tonight’s game will begin at 7 p.m.