Another solid effort from Turlock High on the court has landed the Bulldogs in the finals of the Frank Godinez Boys Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row.
Turlock earned its way into today's championship game with a 65-44 win over Ripon High Friday night in a match up that was controlled by the tournament hosts from start to finish.
“I thought the first quarter and a half, our defensive energy was good. We’re learning our zone offenses and getting more comfortable with where guys are supposed to be, so it was good that we got a lot of practice on zone tonight because I’ve seen a lot of teams play a lot of zone this year,” Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot said.
For the second night in a row Turlock’s defense set the tempo of the game in the first half, limiting the Indians to only 15 points by halftime. Meanwhile, the Bulldog offense nearly doubled Ripon’s output with 29 first-half points.
Demsen McFaddin led the charge early, scoring 11 of Turlock’s 14 first-quarter points. Despite his early surge, however, McFaddin didn’t find the basket again until the fourth quarter as Ripon’s defense worked hard to limit his scoring opportunities. With the Indians’ focus on the senior guard, Travis Cook stepped into the scoring roll in the paint.
“They focused on him a little bit more. With that zone you can kind of find out where that shooter is,” Cornfoot said of McFaddin. “I though he made some nice passes to Travis inside and got some other good looks. He’s an all-around good player, we don’t need him to just score he can also handle the pressure and also get the pass to guys who are open.”
Cook continued to find the basket in the second half while also controlling the board on defense with his rebounding. Ryan Downs, Will Hilgen and Devan Bains also contributed on offense with several treys and were key factors in a 10-point run in the fourth quarter that sealed a third trip to the Godinez finals.
“They just have confidence. We tell them, ‘if you run hard and make your cuts right, you’ll get open to make a shot,’” Cornfoot said of his team’s fourth quarter surges.
McFaddin finished the game with 13 points, Cook finished with 12 points and Downs finished with ten points.
Turlock now finds Beyer High standing between its boys and a third consecutive Godinez championship. The Knights, who won the Modesto City Classic last week, advanced to today’s finals game with a win over Davis High on Thursday. For Turlock, the game will be a good benchmark for the rest of the season.
“They look good right now. They’re well coached and they hustle. They’re press is pretty solid, so we need to be ready to play and not try to dribble though them,” Cornfoot said. “It’s important just because it builds confidence as we go along. We’ve got two games next week against Sierra and Manteca that are going to be tough and I think (a win) would add to their confidence. I think the guys are just understanding what their roles are now and what they’re capable of doing.
“It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” he added.
Today’s game will be played at 6 p.m. at the Turlock Boys Gym.