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TC girls stun No. 2 Contra Costa Christian
TC girls 2
Turlock Christians Cassie Balswick had 12 steals, 12 assists and eight points in the Eagles' CIF Nor-Cal Division-VI victory over Contra Costa Christian. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Turlock Christian is already past their Sac-Joaquin Section loss.

The Eagles of TC proved it by upsetting No. 2 Contra Costa Christian as the No. 7 seed in the Nor-Cal CIF Division-VI bracket on Wednesday night after a 62-55 shocking win.

“I am still recovering since I lost my voice,” said TC head coach Edwin Santiago. “It was a fresh start so we got our mojo back and our idea was a new future, nothing in the past mattered, only the present moment and we had energy as well.”

TC came out and pressed the tempo against CCC with a fury of attacks, taking an 11-6 lead after the first quarter only to go down 23-20 by halftime.

“They made adjustments in that second and really beat us but in that first, I think we surprised them with our press,” said Santiago.

Trailing by three at the half, TC captains stepped up and outscored CCC in the remaining two quarters to get the edge.

TC was led by McCalister Russell and Cassie Balswick's double-double performance.

Russell added 17 points and 14 rebounds and Balswick finished with 12 steals and 12 assists as well as eight points.

“Cassie really helped lead the way by causing turnovers,” said Santiago. “She also passed the ball so well for the entire game.”

By the third TC trailed by one point at 39-38.

The Eagle defense made the difference by containing CCC's top two players. Claire Toth fouled out in the fourth after scoring just eight points. She scored 32 in her last game. Annie Brown finished with a game-high 22 points for CCC but scored 12 of her points from the free-throw line.

“That fourth quarter is when we were able to pull away, we scored a lot,” said Santiago.

TC went on to add 22 points with Aimee Jones tacking on eight points and two late threes that helped seal the deal.

With two and a half minutes, TC led 56-50 and were able to secure the victory and the upset win.

“It was a tight game the whole time,” said Santiago. “Contra Costa, they've got a good team and they are tough. It was quarter by quarter, just a nail biter."

TC will next take on No. 3 Loyalton at noon on Saturday in Loyalton.

“We are exhausted so we need a day to recover so we should be fine with that and a half school day on Friday,” Santiago added.