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TC, Turlock girls start league strong
Denair, Hilmar look for comebacks
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The beginning of league play can be a stressful time for teams in the Valley. Although the first couple of games won’t break a team’s chances at a league title, they can serve as the foundation for future success and indicate what the rest of the season holds.

After losing to Buhach Colony High by four points on Tuesday night, Turlock High’s girls reversed roles in a four point win over Merced High. The Bulldogs defeated the Bears 38-34 in a defensive showcase. Turlock controlled most of the game, holding Merced to 10 first half points.  Due to early penalties Merced was forced to bench one of its top players for half of the game which gave Turlock the opportunity to cushion its lead. Shiloh Soto led in scoring with 16 points and Lindy Avila added 11 points as the Bulldogs fought to a 1-1 position in the Central California Conference.

Turlock Christian High put in another dominant performance against Gustine High Thursday night. The Eagles beat the Redskins by a lopsided score of 59-17. Halie Bergman led the Eagles’ scoring effort with 23 points as TC’s defense didn’t allow Gustine to score more than 7 points in each quarter. In fact, the Redskins didn’t score a single point in the second quarter and trailed 35-4 at halftime. The win gives TC an undefeated league record as the team prepares for Denair High on Monday.

Denair High’s girls were upset with their performance against Mariposa High as they lost 49-34 on Thursday. The Grizzlies’ win was a decisive one; Denair trailed by an average of 13 points the entire game. The Coyotes’ inability to stop Mariposa in the paint proved to be costly, leaving the girls frustrated with their lack of execution. Denair’s head coach Edwin Santiago said his team will be working hard in practice to prepare for an explosive TC team.

Hilmar High’s Thursday night matchup against Hughson High started off great but a second half Husky run left the Yellowjackets with a 42-34 loss and a sour taste in their mouth. Hilmar’s struggle with consistency cost them a 10-point halftime lead. Hughson outscored Hilmar 18-2 in the third quarter as the Yellowjackets’ offense went cold. Hilmar will face Modesto Christian High at home on Monday, where they will need to sustain their intensity for all four quarters if they intend to win.