For the third straight year the Turlock High boys’ basketball team won the 38th annual Frank Godinez tournament after sweeping their opponents, Ceres, Ripon and Beyer in the finale.
After toppling Ceres and Ripon by an average of over 20 points, the host team in Turlock found themselves in a grudge match against the Patriots of Beyer who came into the final undefeated at 7-0.
The Patriots battled till the final seconds of regulation when Brian Perry hit a buzzer beater from the three-point line to tie the game at 55 apiece, forcing the championship game into overtime.
From there on the Bulldogs took over as they went on a 9-1 run to end it with a 64-56 win.
“It was nice. We had a chance to win in regulation if we could have hit our free throws at the end, but I was really happy with the way we responded in overtime,” said Turlock head coach Doug Cornfoot. “After they hit a buzzer beater, at times you get down but our guys got the stops when we needed it.”
“We didn't come out with the right type of energy in this game,” said Beyer head coach Kyle McKim. “We came out a bit more lethargic than we usually do and against a good team like Turlock you can't come out like that, you need to come out ready to play.”
By the end of the first half the Bulldogs had taken a 33-28 lead after the final six shots came from five of the Bulldogs players.
With the help of the Most Valuable Player Trevor Cook and the Most Outstanding Player Demsen McFaddin, the Bulldogs were set for success after they each added on crucial baskets and plays when needed.
“Our guys take a lot of pride in this tournament. Travis all year long has been a bull in the board. If we lose him, we lose games and he had a great game,” Cornfoot said. “Demsen has been steady all three years and we will continue to just get better.”
Cook, who dominated the paint, ended the game with a double-double adding on a team-high 20 points, 10 rebounds and two assists.
McFaddin was also consistent with his playing ability on the outside and in as he added on 13 points with four assists and four rebounds.
“It’s a good feeling. I mean, all the team played great and the big man Trevor played great in the middle,” said McFaddin when asked about being named the tournament's most outstanding player. “Our guys were able to find me and it was a good tournament.”
Will Hilgen was without a doubt the dark horse of the game after finishing second on the team in scoring with 15 points, two assists, five boards and two steals.
“I was just shooting the ball. All of my teammates were finding me open and I couldn't do what I did without them. It’s a team effort,” Hilgen said. “We just stayed focus and each of us did our job that really helped us.”
Turlock would start the third with some questionable plays but the Beyer offense was on point as they cut the lead to three heading into the final quarter.
By the fourth the Bulldogs were in a battle with the Patriots exchanging shots but by the end Beyer's 6-0 run helped them go into extra time.
“It was great to win it. We knew what type of capabilities Beyer had,” McFaddin said. “We know they are a good team and they hustle and everything but we went into this game knowing that we have to turn it on and I think we were mentally there and we stayed in the game.”
By this point, Cook, McFaddin and Hilgen took matters into their own hands as they scored every one of the team’s final nine points to secure the win and the title.
“It’s a championship game and you will be nervous, but we came out good and our leaders on this team that include Devan and Demsen, they kept us calm and focused,” Hilgen added. “They know how to win and we’re just following them.”
“I hope it gives us that confidence that we can still get better and we will be tested because I told our guys that this is the toughest preseason schedule since I have been here,” Cornfoot added. “I want to put them to the test and we want to be ready when league comes.”
Turlock will host Lincoln of Stockton at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.