Doug Cornfoot knows that his Turlock boys’ basketball team needs to be tested in order to improve and live up to the teams standards.
On Wednesday night, they hosted a team that was capable of challenging the Bulldogs in all facets—Lincoln of Stockton.
It wasn’t the best night for the ‘Dogs, and it certainly was a successful night for the Trojans of Lincoln, who went on multiple double-digits scoring runs to secure the 70-35 win over Turlock.
“They are good and I thought we came out with energy the first 4 to 5 minutes, and then I think in the first half we missed about 10 lay-ups,” said Cornfoot. “I don't know if it was their big guy who intimidated our guys a little bit or we are just not finishing lay-ups and we had a tough time with that so far.”
Aside from the lay-ups that were missed, Turlock had to deal with 6-foot-8 Andre Kelly of Lincoln, who finished with a double-double including 14 points for the night.
Lincoln was also on a shooting tear as they racked up 10 three-pointers for the night.
“We were focused on their big guy and when they start knocking three's you have to adjust and we were slow in recognizing where we were,” said Cornfoot. “It’s something we need to work on. We are getting there, but we are not putting it away; but if we do it’s a different game. We have to finish those shots.”
Turlock managed to come out with some intensity in the opening quarter. The ‘Dogs put up the first five points of the game, and then stalled.
All but two players scored at least once for Lincoln, who had three players in double figures.
“When you are down 30 at the half and you try to get your kids motivated, it’s almost what turns into a practice to work on things,” said Cornfoot. “We came out hard, but there were times where we could've been aggressive. We have to be basketball smart. We are not attacking when we can and there were a few times when we saw the opening and just threw up a shot, not even on balance.”
Turlock was outscored 28-20 in the second half and held Lincoln to just four points in the fourth.
The top scorer for Turlock was sophomore Cameron Sherwood who finished with a team-high 15 points while Adrian Espinoza followed with nine points for the night.
“Right now we are out of sync and it comes in spurts,” said Cornfoot. “I think Cam played how we are hoping and Adrian is good enough he can go into the basket or hit the three's; he is talented and played well, but it’s going to take all five of us at one time playing well. We can't just have one or two guys.”
Lincoln improved to 8-2 overall while Turlock falls to 2-3.
“We have to learn to play a certain way for 32 minutes, not five minutes hard then take some time off,” Cornfoot added. “Hopefully after this game and our other preseason games, we learn and when league comes we should be hitting on all cylinders.
“At times it can be disastrous, so we need to figure out how to eliminate that. The reason I schedule tough preseason games is because I don't want that false sense of knowing we can beat the lower divisions, but it isn't going to make us better.”
The next game for Turlock will be a road contest against Sierra of Manteca at 7 p.m. today.