The Turlock Christian Eagles did not start off the Denair High basketball tournament how they had hoped, but instead fell into the consolation bracket after dropping the first game to Hughson in the opening round on Thursday night, 50-73.
Despite a strong effort in the first half from the TC Eagles, the Huskies of Hughson went on a surge in the third quarter after a 25-14 run gave them a 62-44 lead heading into the final quarter.
By the fourth the Eagles looked depleted and foul troubles, along with numerous open missed shots, cost the team an opportunity to upset the Huskies (6-2) as TC picked up its fifth loss in seven contests thus far.
“We really conditioned tough this week,” TC head coach Eddie Sai said. “It was very hard and I don't know if we over conditioned where we sort of lost it but mentally we were just exhausted tonight. We got down and put our heads down and we just didn't look like we wanted to go out and fight.”
“TC is a very good team, a very tall team and that was something that we had to adjust to, but we told our kids to get up and down the court as fast as we can,” Hughson head coach Tony Romero said. “And if we do that we will be successful. And we put the pressure on with our speed.”
Despite two double-double players for TC in Egan Farrar and Kameron Vogt, the Eagles failed to get much offensive production from anybody else on the bench.
Farrar finished with a team-high in scoring with 16 points and added 11 boards while Vogt finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Drake Dutra was the only other player for TC in double digits (10).
Hughson was only up by five after the first half concluded, but an offensive run led by Tyler May and Jim Puls allowed the Huskies to pull away with the lead and momentum for the game.
May added a game-high 22 points, with Jim Puls finishing with 20 points, third on the team in scoring was Devondre Stendardo who topped out with 13.
“That is how we play. We don't play a half court game. If we have the ball we will push it forward offensively and we just do what we can with the guys that we have,” Romero said. “We wore them down a little bit. In some parts of the game we have hit full stride, but we're not quite there yet fully.”
The Eagles will take on Delhi in the first round of the consolation bracket at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
“Eugene [Drummond], he has a great team and is a great guy,” Sai said about Delhi. “They have developed and it will be tough so we have to come out and fight. I think once they have their mindset on it will be okay. Can't look at excuses, our kids were trying but it was also the last day of finals.”