Turlock and Pitman boys varsity water polo teams both put on solid performances Monday night, highlighted by a surprising tight first half.
Pitman came into the Central California Conference bout with four league losses, while Turlock was on the opposite end, having won four prior to Monday's match and they added another after the final resulted in a 13-7 home win for the 'Dogs.
“We haven't had a chance to play Pitman yet this year so we really didn't know what to expect,” said Turlock head coach Manny Bettencourt. “We did know they have good shooters, but we just had to come out and play our team defense which we've been doing well the last couple games.”
“We had some second half letdowns and a few mental errors that cost us unfortunately, but all in all, I was pretty proud of the boys for coming out strong and coming out intense,” said Pitman head coach Colin Wenstrand. “We played hard against Turlock.”
As hard as they could with a limited roster for coach Wenstrand.
Both sides came out hard in the opening minutes.
In fact, nobody scored in the first four minutes and 20 seconds, until the Bulldogs got on the board with their first score and added their second to go up 2-0 with 1:33 left after Dylan Bernardi drilled his first of three goals.
Pitman's Josh Hamby knocked in the Pride's first score with 12 seconds remaining in the first as the score read 2-1 after the conclusion of one quarter.
Bernardi knocked in his second score for Turlock with 3:38 left in the second quarter and Matthew Hesse finished off the first half with a score of his own to make it 4-1 by halftime.
The second half didn't go any better for the Pride, who really struggled against a stingy Turlock defense that came away with 15 steals for the game. Turlock has 34 steals over their last two games played.
Turlock put away nine more goals as they outscored Pitman, 9-6 in the second half, including a 5-3 run in the third.
Pitman's Caden Jarvis seemed to liven up the Pride sidelines after he scored a goal early in the fourth with 5:53 on the clock and the score read 9-5.
Unfortunately for the Pride, their momentum didn't last long as the Bulldogs defense and offense picked up the pace in the closing minutes to surge to a 4-2 run in the final three minutes and 50 seconds to pick up their fifth league win of the year.
Pitman falls to 1-5, with their only win coming in a protested victory over Golden Valley back on Sept. 14. A game that will be replayed after GV's protest was upheld.
With that, Pitman and GV will resume play from that game with the score at 10-10 and eight seconds remaining next time they face off against each other on Oct. 10, but the time has yet to be announced. The only confirmation is that the game will be played before varsity begins their scheduled match on that date.