TURLOCK After not playing a home game in two weeks, the Turlock boys basketball team was understandably fired up to play in front of their large crowd Friday night.
And it showed. The Bulldogs opened the game with a 15-0 run and put Atwater away early on their way to a 61-39 route.
"This was our first home game since the kids got back from winter break," Bulldogs coach Doug Cornfoot said. "To get a crowd like this, the enthusiasm. I think it really helped us."
The Falcons (13-8 overall, 2-2 Central California Conference) couldn't match Turlock's intensity and speed.
It didn't help that Atwater was coming off of an overtime win over Pitman on Wednesday night in which the Falcons had to exert a lot of energy to rally from a 19-point deficit.
Turlock senior Dashawn Holcombe ignited the early run with back-to-back baskets to start the game.
The pressure from Holcombe and the Bulldogs' guard tandem of Deran Bains and Demsen McFaddin was too much for a depleted Atwater team that was playing without three of its guards.
The first 5 minutes were a nightmare for Atwater. The Falcons managed to take just four shots and turned over the ball seven times as Turlock took its 15-0 lead.
"It was horrible," Atwater coach Tony Hillyer said. "Turlock came out more aggressive. They pushed us around. What do you do?"
The Falcons never got within 12 after that.
Holcombe led the Bulldogs with 13 points and Bains added 11 as Turlock moved into second place in the CCC, one game behind Golden Valley.
"The Pitman overtime game just drained us emotionally," Hillyer said. "We were down so much ... We didn't have anything left in the tank for Turlock."