ATWATER — Shane Gentry could be content.
The Buhach Colony girls basketball coach watched as the Thunder defeated Pitman 57-44 on Tuesday night to improve to 6-0 in the Central California Conference.
Buhach Colony looks well on its way to wrapping up a second straight conference title and it's on pace for its best season in school history.
However, Gentry can't help but think his team is capable of more.
"I'm happy to be 18-5 right now, but I still feel this team can be much better," Gentry said. "We have to find that gear we want to play at, but not make as many mistakes."
For the second straight game, the Thunder found themselves in an early hole after coming out lethargic at the start of the game.
Like Atwater on Tuesday, Pitman (3-3 CCC) found openings in the Buhach Colony defense and closed out the first quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 15-8 lead.
The Pride did damage inside with Alex Dechari (nine points) and Samantha Gonzalez (14 points) combining 11 points in the first quarter.
"I want to say we're a comeback team, but that's not always a good thing," Buhach Colony senior Jessica Silva. "Sometimes it takes us until five minutes into the game to get into the rhythm of the game.
"We're a defensive team. We always feel our offense will come, but if we fall behind early we know our defense comes first."
Silva was excited not to see Pitman use a box-and-one defense on her. It's the first time in a couple weeks she's been able to roam around the court without a hand on her jersey and a defender in her face.
The Thunder sharp-shooter sank three 3-pointers, but she did much of her damage in transition. Buhach Colony forced Pitman into 19 turnovers with many of those turning into easy baskets.
Silva led the way with 23 points. Allison Wisdom chipped in with 13 points.
"I needed to be able to shoot tonight. It was good for my confidence," Silva said. "There was a lot less pressure on me. I didn't get frustrated."
The Thunder closed out the first half with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 23-22 lead into intermission.
Buhach Colony put the game away by outscoring Pitman 11-0 to start the fourth quarter to open up a 50-34 lead with 5 minutes and 20 seconds left in the game.
Again it was the Thunder defense as Wisdom and Brandy Coward made big steals to set up fast breaks.
"Right now we can't be too comfortable," Silva said. "We're 6-0, but these teams know us. They know me and Allison. We still have work to do.
"We're still searching for the title and playoffs that we want."
Merced 31, Atwater 21
ATWATER -- After scoring just eight points in the first half, the Bears outscored the Falcons 23-5 in the second half to improve to 4-2 in the CCC.
Merced's Lexi Thompson scored a game-high 10 points.
Turlock 48, Golden Valley 43
Aubrey Glidden scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs to a win.
Camille Flores' 13 points paced Golden Valley, which took its first and only lead in the game at 39-38 on a 3-pointer by Cristina Kuizon with 4:40 left.
However, Turlock outscored GV 10-4 the rest of the way.