It was the matchup of the season Friday night.
Turlock High hosted undefeated Golden Valley High with its Central California Conference title hopes on the line. Across campus the Temptations were soothing listeners with their music but there was nothing soothing about what was happening on the basketball court.
The Bulldogs came out determined to avenge their sole league loss at the hands of the Cougars and for most of the game they seemed to be on their way. But what started as a potential dream come true ended with Turlock holding a ball of confusion on shaky ground. After frustrating Golden Valley for the majority of the game, the Bulldogs let an 8 point lead slip in a matter of minutes as the Cougars mounted a comeback for a 58-51 win.
Turlock’s disappointment was matched only by its initial enthusiasm.
For the second time in the course of three days DaShawn Holcombe hit the court like a rolling stone, flashing past Cougar defenders on his way to 10 of his team’s 28 first half points. Similarly, Golden Valley’s Evan Stillahn was a runaway child running wild, scoring 12 first half points of his own.
Stillahn’s flame temporarily went out in the third quarter, giving Holcombe and the Bulldogs an opportunity to pull away in what seemed to be their season’s masterpiece. But Golden Valley quickly yanked Turlock from cloud nine late in the fourth with back to back treys from Stillahn and J.T. Edmunds that made it a one point game.
Over the course of the next four minutes Turlock fought hard to regain the lead and momentum but the Cougars' accurate shooting from the field and the free throw line ensured a Turlock win would be just an imagination.
Turlock’s next game will be at home against Buhach Colony High on Wednesday.