After trouncing through the Merced High Bears last month 54-40 at home, the Turlock High Bulldogs traveled to square off against their Central California Conference rivals for the opportunity to get that second spot in league.
It was by far one of the worse performances for the Bulldogs who came out flat and simply lost in the first three quarters, and by the time a fourth quarter run was in play it was too little, too late and the ‘Dogs fell to the Bears 56-45.
“This was probably one of the worse halves of basketball all year long,” Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot said.
The ‘Dogs were plagued by the inability to score anything the first half as they scored only 10 points, seven of which came from Demsen McFaddin.
With a 28-10 score going into the third, the game seemed way out of reach for any team especially after a 44-20 score going into the fourth.
Down 24, the ‘Dogs made a last push led by Kenny Fraser and Devan Bains, who had 29 of the team's second half points, but unfortunately the clock became the enemy as there was not enough time to rally.
“We made a run, we decided to switch to man to man and looked to play aggressive. [We] played good defense and forced them to turn it over and we played how they did in the first three, but we ran out of time,” Cornfoot said.
With only two league games left the ‘Dogs can tie for second but they will need to win out and have Merced lose one of their last games to assure that outcome.
“We have to beat Atwater and Pitman to secure the second spot at least,” Cornfoot said. “If we play how we did in the first then we don’t deserve to make playoffs.”
The ‘Dogs will host the Atwater Falcons next week for a CCC showdown set to begin at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday.