In their homecoming bout on Saturday, the Turlock Christian boys’ basketball squad was able to notch out a victory in their first meeting of the year against Southern Athletic League opponents Delhi.
While Delhi struggled from the perimeter for most of the game, the Eagles of TC were on a comfortable pace in the first half. A second half rally by the Hawks wasn't enough, and the Eagles came away with a 61-56 win.
“Our guys played so hard. We can’t say enough about how well Delhi is and they gave us a big run and our bigs had tough times but we did enough to get the win,” Turlock Christian head coach Eddie Sai said.
“They deserved to win and we deserved to lose, I told the kids. We were good at first and the rest we were back rim. Overall, they deserved it,” Delhi head coach Eugene Drummond said.
It was another slow start for the Hawks who scored only eight points in the opening quarter and it wasn’t until the second half that they outscored TC 33-27, but by then the Eagles had a comfortable lead and their larger physical presence was enough to defend in the paint.
Delhi’s top scorer Nick Hernandez struggled on the night, as he went 0-of-15 after averaging nearly 20 points per game and was held scoreless in a struggling night for the senior.
“Everybody got a pretty show. We probably played our worst game of the year and still came close after playing better in the second,” Drummond said.
TC had three players score in double digits, while all but one player came away with at least two points.
Delhi played tough, aggressive defense and was able to force the Eagles to turn the ball over 20 times for the game.
The Eagles have managed to win four of their last five contests, while Delhi drops their second of the last three.
“The game went [well], Delhi has been doing a great job this year, they are a great shooting team, it was back and forth, they did a great job pressuring,” Sai said. “The excitement was great, the last quarter was intense, the crowd was very into it, packed crowd, it was really intense the people were on the edge of their seats.”
The Eagles top scorer was Brady Turner, who managed to come away with 15 points and seven rebounds. Josh Wright had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore Jose Cruz of Delhi finished the game with a game-high 19 points after he drained 12 of the team's first 23 to start the game.
“It was a very physical game on both sides, very fun,” Drummond said. “We were affected by the free throw line a little bit, we also had some nerves, for us which is rare, missed a couple air balls early on which is not likely, we played hard — so did TC.”
The Eagles will host Gustine High in a SAL bout at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Delhi will go on the road for next week beginning with a SAL clash at Waterford beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday.