Turlock (1-4) and Denair (3-3) high met on the basketball court for a first round matchup in this year’s Godinez tournament and the game started off different than how it ended.
Denair’s Isaac Starks led all scorers with 29 points but the Coyotes failed to surge past Turlock who went on a 34-19 run in the second half to win it, 61-42, and advance into the semifinal round.
“We told the guys that we need to come out hot since we have a tendency of coming out flat and we knew Isaac would be fine,” said Denair Coach Garett Elliott. “But we just couldn’t hang with a team like Turlock, they are so deep.”
“We still have so much room for improvement because we are making too many costly turnovers and forcing shots, but Denair came out and played well at first,” said Turlock Coach Doug Cornfoot. “We are seeing improvement but we still have things to work on.”
Starks was hot to start things off, scoring 19 of Denair’s first 23 points, taking a two-point lead over Turlock by the end of the first.
He went on to cool off in the second half after Turlock was able to hold him off, playing tight defense and double teaming the star point guard when he would gain possession.
“The floor is bigger than ours and the kids got gassed at the end,” said Elliott. “They are a much deeper team than we are and they can bring a lot more players and it happens like that when you play a school with 2,000 more kids to choose from.”
It frustrated Denair and really forced them to rely on another player but it became obvious that Turlock’s bench was the difference maker.
“We just wanted to make sure we put somebody with a hand on him and we wanted to out rebound them and we wanted to push the ball and we did it better and passed it up in the second half,” said Cornfoot.
Habib Velasquez and Ricky Heidelbach were tied for a team-high 14 points and 11 different players went on to score for the Bulldogs as they snapped their four-game losing streak.
“We start to see a total team effort and we just need to keep that going,” said Cornfoot.
Starks was 9-for-13 and tallied seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.
Denair’s next game will be against Ceres at 5:30 p.m. today.
The next game for Turlock will be against Kimball at 8:30 p.m. today.