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TC rides aggressive defense in win against Millennium
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Caleb Comfort drives to the basket to extend the Eagles’ lead (PAWAN NAIDU/The Journal).

After missing players all season due to injuries and COVID-19, the Turlock Christian Eagles boys basketball team finally had their full squad together Monday night against the Millennium Charter Falcons. The result was a dominating 51-22 victory led by a lockdown defense.

“We really came together; we haven’t had everyone because of COVID and injuries,” said head coach Daniel Motz. “We’ve gone through some ups and downs but we’re getting together at the right time. We moved the ball pretty well tonight; working the ball inside and pushing it back outside.”

The game started off hot with a three by senior forward Julian Espinosa. After the made basket, the Eagles played aggressive defense to get turnovers and blocked shots. Senior guard Shandon Boswell drew some fouls and hit a three pointer to give the Eagles a 12-4 lead going into the second.

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TC’s Jackson Gehrke helps puts the Falcons away in the fourth quarter (PAWAN NAIDU/The Journal).

“It’s been hard all season with only having six or seven guys in practice,” said Motz. “With us now having everyone to run practices, we’re starting to have more intensity and it’s the best time in the season to be picking that defense intensity up.”

TC kept up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and never let the Falcons get into any sort of rhythm. Junior center Caleb Comfort was crashing the offensive board and made sure the Eagles had plenty of opportunities to extend their lead. It was a physical quarter with most of the scoring coming off drives to the basket and foul shots. The Eagles took a 29-11 lead into the half.

The third quarter was where Comfort started matching his defensive output with his offensive. He was putting nearly every offensive rebound into the basket and driving to score or pick up the foul. TC never let up offensively or defensively and took a 43-16 lead going into the final quarter.

“He’s (Comfort) huge for us,” said Motz. “He’s a good leader, he’s vocal and he talks a lot. He moves well without the ball and he continues to get better.”

With a lot of the starters sitting for much of the fourth quarter, the offensive production slipped a little bit but they stayed very aggressive on defense. Towards the end of the quarter the players were able to spread the ball around and get everyone involved to close out the game. The Eagles celebrated the 51-22 victory as time expired.

The Eagles currently sit with a 15-9 record overall and 4-2 in league play which puts them in second place. Up next for TC is a home league game against Stone Ridge Christian on Saturday.