The current battle for second place in the Central California Conference was up for grabs on Friday night when Pitman High boys basketball hosted Turlock High in their second meeting of the year.
In their first meeting at the Godinez Tournament, the Pride Pitman defeated Turlock 47-24. On Friday, Turlock came in with a different game plan.
It turned out well for the Bulldogs, who managed to come out of a packed Pride gym with a 45-43 victory over their crosstown rivals.
“We are kind of an up and down team. When we play with confidence and defend, I think we can play with anybody,” said Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot. “The first time we played them, we were with them the first half, then we couldn’t make a shot and imploded. Tonight, we kept our composure.”
“It’s a rivalry game and they had an incentive from the last time we played them and I knew they weren’t going to play the same way,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable. “They certainly didn’t play the same way and there were a couple things that went our way… but had a different outcome.”
Pitman has now lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season while Turlock has captured two straight wins.
The Bulldogs of Turlock go to 9-11 overall and 4-2 in the CCC, tied with Golden Valley for second place.
The Pride of Pitman are now 15-6 overall and 3-3 in the CCC, sitting in third after Friday’s game.
“We talked about the winner of tonight is going to be in second place, and we have aspirations of making playoffs, it will come one game at a time,” said Cornfoot. “Right now, we just want to just keep getting better and this game is always big no matter what the records are. To get this win, it’s important and gives us momentum heading into the second half of league.”
Pitman’s Dom Von Waaden led all scorers with a team-high 17 points. Jacob Stanton and Christian Williams scored eight apiece.
“This game was important from the standpoint that we control our own destiny, with a win tonight. Now we get better… wipe this off and we need to start round two,” Marable added about starting the second half of league play.
Turlock’s top scorer was Everett Johnson, who notched 15 points to go with a block, five rebounds and a pair of assists. Cam Sherwood scored 13 points and added four boards along with a pair of three-pointers.
The rowdy crowd, along with a packed student section on both sides, kept a steady loud pace throughout the game that saw major momentum shifts throughout.
Turlock dropped the first bucket of the game and would also knock down the last.
The ‘Dogs went up 10-4 after the first, never leading by more than half a dozen throughout the game.
Then, Von Waaden and the Pride pushed back in the second. Von Waaden even drilled a buzzer beater as time expired in the second quarter to tie the game at 18-18 at halftime.
The defensive effort stayed steady, but in the second half both sides battled.
Pitman got the better end in the third after they went up 34-28.
In the fourth and final quarter, Turlock was able to outscore Pitman 17-9 to edge out their rivals for the first time this season.
Turlock will next take on El Capitan at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Pitman’s next game will be at home against Golden Valley at 7:15 p.m. Friday.