After falling to Central Catholic High this past weekend, the Turlock High Bulldogs boys’ basketball team bounced back on Wednesday night in a Central California Conference showdown.
The visiting Merced High Bears tallied a seven-game win streak, but the ‘Dogs proved to be too much to handle as they crushed their CCC foe in a convincing fashion, 54-40.
“I thought we came out ready to play. We game planned on how to break their press,” Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot said. “I think the kids took to heart after their previous loss and played with a bit of an attitude and we got out to a fast start and that kind of deflated Merced.”
Things went Turlock’s way from start to finish as they managed to control the inside game along with playing shut down defense. After the opening quarter the score was 17-5, and Turlock was just getting started.
“I think our defense sparked our offense because we limited them to take outside shots and shots that are out of their comfort zone,” Cornfoot said.
After a 42-24 lead to begin the fourth, the ‘Dogs offense was able to score when needed, consistently knocking down free throws as the ‘Dogs drained 12-of-18 for the game.
With the help of the big men —Travis Cook and Kenny Fraser on defense — both were able to take advantage and dominate the paint against the smaller Bears squad.
“We had an intense week of practice. I thought our defense today was very good and we really stressed that coming into the game so that was one of the key points,” Cook said. “That’s what we wanted to do in order to get ready for this game and back to how we were playing before.”
Fraser finished the night with 15 points and nine boards while Demsen McFaddin added on a game-high, 17 points.
Cook was essential for the win as he tacked on 10 points and five boards, shooting 5-of-6 for the game, while notching a third of the team’s points in the first quarter.
“I think if we keep playing like this we can go a long way in the playoffs, but we will see,” Cook added.
CCC play will resume for Turlock High, who will go on the road for the next five games, starting with a visit to Atwater High. The game is set to begin at 7:15 p.m. tonight.
“With the next five games being on the road we really need to get focused and prepare and get physically ready to compete,” Cornfoot said.