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Turlock shrugs off preseason, starts league with win
Turlock boys pic2
Habib Velasquez doesnt let Atwaters pressure stop him from scoring points for Turlock Friday. Velasquez scored 23 points alone during the game Friday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Turlock (2-16 overall, 1-0 CCC) High boys basketball is lucky to have Oscar Moreno back on the team.

Moreno became eligible on Jan. 4 and since then the Bulldogs seem to have a new spark that wasn’t there before his arrival.

Turlock went 1-15 heading into Tuesday’s meeting against West where Moreno played his first game of the year and he didn’t disappoint.

Unfortunately the Bulldogs fell by seven points in their last preseason matchup, however, the team became aware that they could compete and they responded by defeating Atwater in their Central California Conference opener at home on Friday, 67-53.

“We have talked to them in preseason on how the schedule was probably as good as any in the area,” said Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot. “We played in many tough tournaments and some tough teams; we just self-destructed at the end.”

Turlock finally managed to put together a complete performance on Friday night and it was behind Moreno’s 15 points that made the difference.

The point guard was able to take over and contain possession, which has plagued the Bulldogs—inconsistent guard play and turnovers.

Turlock only trailed by two points in the opening quarter and never trailed for the remainder of the game.

“We are now playing more comfortable with Oscar (Moreno) in there,” said Cornfoot. “It was finally a game where we played well all four quarters and because of Oscar we are now able to spread the ball around and hang on and make smarter shots.”

After the third Turlock had built a big lead at 47-30 with only eight minutes left in regulation and the defense was able to hold the fort till the end.

Habib Velasquez was the top scorer with 23 points and assisted on the rebounding end.

Turlock was plus-15 in the rebound margin over Atwater for the game.

“Big thing is we controlled boards, not many second or third shots,” said Cornfoot. “We are now 1-0, we told the guys to forget preseason because it is a fresh new start after tonight, so hopefully these kids know what we are capable of and continue to work hard.”

The next game for Turlock will be on the road against Merced at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Turlock and Pitman High will also be hosting a six-week youth league on Saturdays starting today from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at Pitman and Turlock gyms.