On Friday the Bulldogs hosted second place Buhach Colony High (7-4 CCC) while the Pride hosted fourth place Merced High (3-8 CCC).
Turlock’s game against the Thunder exceeded the drama of Wednesday’s game. After holding a two-point lead in the first quarter the Bulldogs found themselves trailing by six at the half. Buhach took advantage of Turlock’s first half mistakes but by the second half the Bulldogs found their groove. After tying the game in the third quarter Turlock took its first lead of the second half with 5:11 in the fourth off a Denny Serpa triple bonus. The Thunder didn’t lie down though, responding basket for basket in a second half that saw nine lead changes, four of which were in the final minute, and nine separate occasions where one point separated the two teams.
With 11 seconds on the clock the Thunder drove down the court for a layup, putting them up 49-48. The Bulldogs called a time out, collected themselves, and took possession of the ball with 6.3 seconds left in the game. With time running out Alek Carlson dished the ball to Tyler Murphy who hit the game winning trey with less than two seconds remaining, sending the players from the bench onto the court in celebration over the 51-49 victory.
Pitman’s game against the Bears was hard fought and was also decided with mere seconds on the clock. The Pride waged a defensive battle with Merced, compensating for the absence of Sexton with defensive pressure and the inside play of Grayson Kennedy. The first half was low scoring as both teams had trouble shooting the basketball. Pitman led 17-15 at halftime.
The second half was similar to the first. Few points separated Pitman and Merced and with 12 seconds left in the game the score was tied 35-35. Zack Olson proceeded to steal the ball from a Merced player and dished it out to Trevor Pata who scored a triple bonus to give the Pride the win by a score of 38-35.
Turlock, Pitman and Buhach are now tied for second place behind Golden Valley High. Both the Bulldogs and Pride must now win the remainder of their games to have a shot at the CCC title and playoffs. Turlock will host Merced on Wednesday and Pitman will travel to Atwater High to face the Falcons.
To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.