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Team effort pushes Turlock past Atwater
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Aleck Carlson ascends to the basket on his way to a crowd pleasing slam dunk in Wednesdays game against Atwater. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

For the second time this week Atwater High traveled to Turlock to play a basketball game, and for the second time they came up short. This time the Falcons (0-8 CCC) faced Turlock High in a Wednesday night showdown that was completely controlled by the Bulldogs (5-3 CCC). Turlock defeated Atwater 60-36, creating a tie with Pitman High for third place in the CCC.

Turlock started the game with a strong first quarter, scoring 21 points and holding Atwater to a meager eight. Dashawn Holcombe (14 points) was the driving offensive force for the Bulldogs as he and Darren Trainor (10 points) hit the basket via the inside. Turlock’s offense stalled momentarily in the second quarter as the Atwater defense was able to force turnovers on Turlock’s end of the court and parlay them into 11 points. The Bulldogs scored nine points, six of which came in the final two minutes of the quarter, but still led at halftime 30-19.

“We played better as a team tonight,” Turlock’s head coach Doug Cornfoot said. “We needed other guys to be aggressive and step up.”

In the second half the Bulldog offense regained its momentum as Aleck Carlson (10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals) took on the role of facilitator, dishing the ball to Holcombe and Trainor, among others. For every basket the Falcons made Turlock made two or more. Soon the Bulldogs, comfortable with their lead, began playing their subs who continued the scoring.

“We put them in to play, not to just fill a spot. Not only did they score but they rebounded and played defense,” Cornfoot said.

In the fourth quarter a Turlock run of nine unanswered points crushed any hopes the Falcons had at making a comeback. Turlock’s focus now rests on Golden Valley High (6-2 CCC), the CCC leader, who will host the Bulldogs on Friday. The last time these two teams played, the Cougars won thanks to accurate shooting, something the Bulldogs have not forgotten.

 “We have to go out and play hard,” Cornfoot said. “We need to defend as a team because they shoot well from the outside. If we can defend we’ll have a chance.”

To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.