Turlock High boys water polo coach Colin Wenstrand said his team has “unleashed” against opponents in the fourth quarter this year.
Monday against Gregori was no different.
In a match between the top two teams in the Central California Athletic League, the Bulldogs scored five of their 14 goals in the final seven minutes to beat the Jaguars, 14-10, at Enochs High School.
“Fitness is definitely a factor,” Wenstrand said. “Our guys are in good shape and most of them play every minute. We don’t make a lot of substitutes.”
Gregori (4-2 CCAL, 13-8) led 4-3 after one period before Turlock (6-0, 16-3) tied the match at seven after two. Turlock maintained a 9-8 lead after three.
Junior captain Drew Folly scored two early goals in the fourth and Turlock would score two more and led 13-8 before Gregori senior Nate Johnson scored the Jaguars’ first goal of the final period with 2 minutes, 44 seconds remaining.
Folly led the Bulldogs with five goals and senior Taylor Ward had three. Johnson had five goals for Gregori and junior Caleb Miller added two.
Turlock has won its last seven matches.
Wenstrand said the team culture and character have been strong all year. Many of the Bulldogs have been playing together prior to high school.
After hosting Enochs on Wednesday, Turlock will play in the DeLong Tournament this weekend and potentially play some teams they will see in the playoffs.
Turlock opens against Rio Americano (12-0) on Friday at 11 a.m. at Johansen. Gregori will face Davis Sr. at noon at Pitman.
“They (Rio Americano) are one of the premier programs in the section,” Wenstrand said. “It’s a bonus being able to play a top team before playoffs.”
2019 DeLong Boys Water Polo Tournament
Downey: Lincoln-Stockton, Pondersa, Ripon, Freedom, Merced, Modesto, California, Rodriguez
Enochs: West Albany (OR), Atwater, Pioneer, Tracy, Sonora, Enochs, Downey, Kennedy
Johansen: Liberty, Buhach Colony, Lodi, Woodcreek, Rio Americano, Turlock, Rocklin, Newberg (OR)
Oakdale: Golden West, Pitman, Oakdale, Davis, Heritage, Del Oro, Nevada Union, Vintage
Pitman: Bella Vista, Redwood, El Capitan, Granite Bay, Orange Lutheran, Beyer, Davis Sr., Gregori
Ripon: Bear Creek, Oakmont, Johansen, Lincoln (OR), Tokay, Bret Harte, Amador, Mountain House
Games start at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and end around 5 p.m. Semifinals Saturday morning and championship games Saturday afternoon at various sites.