The first meeting of the year between the Turlock High and Golden Valley High varsity girls basketball programs proved to be an exciting one that came down to the final seconds.
Trailing by five points with less than a minute left, Turlock pressed and eventually cut the lead to one point after Jaydon Williams nailed back-to-back buckets inside the paint to cut the lead to one possession.
Then with 13 seconds left, Turlock regained possession and Sarah Musselman attempted a shot but it did not fall as GV came down with the rebound and time expired and the ‘Dogs fell, 40-39.
“We played well, both teams were neck and neck, back and forth first half and just a well-played first half,” said Turlock head coach Mark Musselman. “Both offensively and defensively, we did a good job.”
Turlock never trailed by more than five points throughout the entire game and led by as many as four at times.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 1-3 in the Central California Conference, having lost two of their last three league contests.
“We talked all weekend about nobody giving us a chance to win this game and that is a great place to be because we got nothing to lose and all to gain,” said Musselman. “We went out and played as hard as we can for as long as we can, if we make that last basket, it’s our game, can’t ask for more.”
Williams led all scorers with 13 points and Sarah Musselman was second on the team with 10 points. Hope Salsig finished with 7 for the night.
“The biggest difference this time was our guard play,” said Musselman. “GV pressed in the first two minutes then backed it off because we see the floor well, but we have a good guard now, that was not always the case.”
Turlock has lost six straight to Golden Valley. The last time Turlock defeated GV was on Jan. 8, 2013.
The ‘Dogs led by four points heading into the fourth, before GV went on a 10-1 run during a six-minute span to go up 40-35.
Turlock battled back but could only come within one point, missing 5 of 7 shots from the perimeter in the closing minute.
“We got away from what we do and got away from penetration getting it inside either off the dribble or pass,” said Musselman. “And we started forcing things and took poor shots, but hats off to GV, we got one shot at the end and if it did not go down they had the rebound.”
Turlock’s next game will be against crosstown rivals Pitman at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
“I told the girls afterwards that they could not play any harder,” Musselman added. “They gave everything they had and moving forward we walk with our heads held high and that is what we have to do, learn from it and move forward.”