When Turlock Christian (0-8) and Waterford (3-5) High met in day two of the Denair Holiday Classic it was a rematch of former Southern Athletic League opponents and both were eager for the opportunity to compete against a former league rival.
Waterford led for most of the game but TC’s ability to battle gave them a lead in the third quarter, however, the Eagles were unable to sustain their intensity as they dropped their eighth straight to begin the year after a 66-58 loss on Friday night.
“We can’t make layups or free throws and when you turn the ball over you just aren’t going to win bottom line,” said TC head coach Eddie Sai.
TC turned the ball over a total of 27 times for the game and made 6 of 15 from the free throw line.
At one point, the Eagles led by three in the third quarter after surging in a 22-point quarter, but Waterford’s final bucket as time expired put the Wildcats up by two as the third ended.
Waterford never trailed again and extended their lead by as many as 10 points during the fourth.
TC was outscored 12-8 in the fourth and the missed shots and turnovers really cost the Eagles the opportunity to clinch their first win of the year.
“We were up by three but it’s like all the games we've played so far — we go up by a couple of points in the third and then in the fourth we just collapse,” said Sai. “I don’t know if we run out of gas, but there is no confidence, it's frustrating playing like this towards the end.”
Coleman Kirkendall led all Eagles in scoring with a team-high 16 points and made 4 of 8 from three.
Sophomore Max Tyson added 14 points and 9 rebounds and as a team the Eagles shot 34.4 percent.
“Coming close should give our guys enough to believe in themselves and they need to know that if they play well then they can compete, but if they do their own thing then it doesn’t work that way,” said Sai. “They need to learn the game, long as they try to do it their way then we will end up doing how we are.”
TC will take on Delhi in the 11 a.m. game today, but will be playing without five players, including four of its seniors.