It was more than just another basketball game Monday night when Turlock Christian High hosted its arch rival Ripon Christian High. The less than spacious Calvary Baptist Gym was packed to the gills as both Eagles (14-3 overall, 4-0 SAL) and Knights (9-6 overall, 3-1 SAL) supporters watched from the bleachers, hallways, and even the floor as the defending Southern Athletic League Co-Champions had it out.
The last time these two teams faced each other TC dominated RC, 70-54, in the semi-finals of the Division V SJS Tournament. Before that, the Knights had ruined TC’s bid for a perfect season and outright SAL Championship, handing the Eagles their first and only league loss with a 53-33 performance.
Needless to say, tensions were high before tip-off.
Once the game started, however, the Eagles settled in and any stress or anxiety that existed pre-game melted away. As has come to be expected, senior Halie Bergman led the way for her Lady Eagles as they pulled ahead on the scoreboard and never looked back. After four quarters TC remained undefeated with a 59-53 victory over RC.
The Eagle’s presence on the court was undeniable from the beginning of the first quarter as Bergman’s efforts combined with those of fellow seniors Arin Morelli and Kate Farrar. TC put up 21 first quarter points en route to a 30-24 halftime lead.
In the second half, TC keyed in on RC’s Kaylie Colyn and Teagan Manus to hold the Knights to only seven third quarter points. RC battled back in the fourth quarter with a 22 point effort, but solid free throw shooting from Bergman sealed RC’s fate and its first SAL loss of the season.
Bergman led TC with 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 steals. Morelli finished the night with 11 points and 6 rebounds while Farrar tallied 7 rebounds and 5 steals. It was Bergman’s highest single game scoring performance this season.