In a preseason matchup the day after New Year’s, the Turlock High girls’ basketball team hosted the Central Valley Hawks in what started off messy on both sides offensively but turnovers quickly transcended into points for CV and things went downhill from start to end for the Bulldogs.
Turnovers became the theme for the Bulldogs, who also failed to notch 10 points as a team until 2:30 remained in the second quarter on Thursday. The ‘Dogs failed to rebound in the first half, then things changed in the second half, but opportunities didn’t fall and it was too late against the smaller Hawks team who outplayed and outhustled the ‘Dogs as they took the 38-32 victory.
“The girls play hard, their on the floor fighting for the ball, their scraping and they’re a good group of girls that work very hard,” Turlock head coach Mark Musselman said. “We just have to be smarter with the ball. Hats off to Central Valley, they played a great game and beat us tonight.”
The Bulldogs failed to hold on to the ball from the start as they unfortunately finished the game with 33 turnovers.
Coach Musselman pointed out that turning the ball over that many times and losing by only six points shows the hard work that the girls are doing on the defensive side.
“I don’t have an answer of why we keep turning it over so much but we just continue to work at it,” Musselman said. “Were trying to get better, aside from securing the ball. Part of it is youth, but we just gotta get better at taking care of the ball.”
With a young team on their side, Turlock knew that holding on to the ball would be difficult but they didn’t expect the pressure to come from Central Valley star, Mia Lorenzo, who made it hard to defend against with her ability to get the boards, steal, score and pass.
“Mia is a great player and we had trouble stopping her. She was able to penetrate the paint consistently and they played a great ball game overall,” Musselman said of the CV star. “They put pressure on and we couldn’t respond.”
Along with Lorenzo, the Hawks full court press defense took a toll on Turlock as they struggled to lay down easy opportunities with multiple defenders contesting every shot and the inexperience of the ‘Dogs showed.
It was all downhill from there for Turlock despite outscoring the Hawks 12-9 in the fourth quarter. Every time the ‘Dogs would score, the Hawks would respond on the opposing side and the Hawks held on for their seventh win of the season.
“Turnovers definitely hurts us every game. I think we get a little nervous and we rush passes and I think that is where we must work on,” Turlock High senior Karly Schuman said. “We must slow down the game and pace ourselves. Just take our time, calm down and look for easy passes, take care of the ball. I think we can do it, it just takes time.”
Schuman finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, one steal and a block. Freshman starter Shea Williams finished the game with seven points and eight boards. Mary Oliveira finished the game with eight boards.
With league less than two weeks away, the lady Bulldogs will look to continue their progress and hopefully come away with some wins as they will host the next three games.
“Once we play together more and more we will start gelling together and by league we will be more competitive,” Schuman said.
Next, the lady ‘Dogs will start a three game series before going into league play as they host Lodi High at 7:15 p.m. tonight.