The inexperienced Turlock High girls’ basketball team showed its youth on Tuesday night after displaying a complete second half meltdown with a combination of turnovers and missed shots that led to easy points for the visiting Wildcats.
After being down by three at half, the Bulldogs were calm but less than a minute in they began to panic on the offensive side as they were unsteady and outscored 10-33 in the second half.
The Wildcats full court press coverage took a toll on the offense as they forced Turlock to turn the ball over 22 times in the second, banking in on turnover points that ultimately led to their 29-55 defeat.
“We had 22 turnovers in the second half; that about sums it up, The effort is there, the girls played hard we just need to be better with the ball in the second half,” Turlock head coach Mark Musselman said.
With a 19-22 score by half, the game looked to be in reach for the ‘Dogs but Sonora’s offense and defense led by junior Bailey Henington had another thing in mind as they made it tough for Turlock to get into any kind of rhythm.
Henington and company began to find a groove as she led the way, dropping 15 second half points along with a handful of steals and they continued their streak till the final seconds.
“The girls will get better, were already better. We couldn’t break a press two weeks ago and so they are better handling the pressure in the first half the way they did and we talk about it all the time with ‘be quick but don’t hurry,’” Musselman said. “We played quick in the first half and hurried in the second and so we paid for it with sloppy passes.”
Mary Oliveira finished the game with 12 rebounds and two blocks. While Karly Schuman had 13 points and Alexia Oliveira added on six points.
After the win, coach Musselman is confident that with his young squad they will continue to progress and improve as the season moves forward and feels that his team can compete for a postseason berth by the time league rolls around.
“Their confidence remains high and everybody is getting minutes and it’s a rebuilding process. We just need to stay positive. It’s cliché to say it but it’s not about wins, it’s about gaining that experience we need and learning to play the proper defense and taking care of the ball,” Musselman said. “It’s about putting them in pressure situations so that when league rolls around we will be ok.”
Turlock will travel to Oakdale for a game set to begin at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.