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Turlock girls water polo fends off Pitman for win
turlock girls polo
The Turlock High varsity girls water polo team held Pitman to three goals in Wednesday’s 6-3 win from home (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The rivalry matchup between Turlock and Pitman highs’ varsity girls water polo teams started out slow but the Bulldogs took charge in the second and by the end of the Wednesday’s game they had secured a 6-3 win over their crosstown foe to remain unbeaten in league at the halfway mark.

“We are 5-0, but we have five more games left and I told them that tomorrow we start off fresh because Gregori is coming for us and we have to really bring our ‘A’ game,” said Turlock head coach Anne Cornell.

Turlock now sits in first place in the Central California Athletic League with a perfect 5-0 record while Pitman goes to 2-3 in league play.

“I think the games went well and the varsity girls did not feel defeated,” said Pitman coach Dylan Hines.

There is still another half of league play left and anything can happen in the final stretch. Pitman has won three of its last five.

Wednesday proved to be nearly an even matchup when they kicked things off.

Nobody scored in the first quarter, but then Turlock outscored Pitman in the second, 3-1, after Emmerson Stempson, Madison Howry and Sadie Bigler each scored a goal apiece to lead at the half.

Turlock notched a pair of goals in the third and lead 5-1 heading into the final seven minutes of action.

JoJo Lok and Molly Thompson scored a goal each in the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-3, then Turlock’s Howry notched another goal with 1:53 left in the game and the match ended with a three-goal difference at 6-3.

“We started to connect, but we struggled in the first half and our girls weren’t moving as much during that time and the opportunities in the cage as well, and just rushing our game,” Cornell added. “We had some crucial steals as well; our defense was amazing at shutting them down and getting the ball in the cage.”

Turlock will next take on Gregori at home at 3 p.m. Monday.

Pitman’s next game will be on the road at Modesto High at 3 p.m. Monday.