High School Sports

Turlock's defense locks up Los Banos

Eric Wetzel, right, and Turlock denied Nick Gutierrez and Los Banos on Friday night at Los Banos High.  Wetzel scored 14 points in the Bulldogs' win over the Tigers.
Eric Wetzel, right, and Turlock denied Nick Gutierrez and Los Banos on Friday night at Los Banos High. Wetzel scored 14 points in the Bulldogs' win over the Tigers. Los Banos Enterprise

Turlock High's boys basketball team received a big performance from sophomore Eric Wetzel, and its defense shut down Los Banos in a 65-46 victory Friday night in a Central California Conference game in Los Banos.

The Bulldogs (16-6, 5-2) -- The Bee's No. 2-ranked large school -- lost to the Tigers (15-8, 4-3) in Turlock the first time they played. Their win Friday night spoiled Los Banos' homecoming.

The win means Turlock and Pitman (14-6, 5-2) are tied for second, 1½ games behind top-ranked Merced (14-7, 6-0).

With Gavin Souza playing sick and another Turlock player out because of illness, Wetzel scored a team-high 14 points, and the Bulldogs steadily built their lead to 50-30 after three quarters.

Defensively, the Bulldogs limited Los Banos to 13 field goals, and Efrem Harris held Tigers' sharpshooter Phil Etcheverry to four points.

"We knew he was their 3-point shooter. We tried to keep everybody else in front of us," Turlock coach Doug Cornfoot said. "Our switches were executed well. We were on the ball when the ball arrived."

Central California Conference

PITMAN 62, ATWATER 41, at Pitman -- Sam Madden had 28 points, with four of his eight 3-pointers coming in the first quarter, in leading the Pride (14-6, 5-2) over the Falcons (4-17, 0-7). Pitman led 26-11 after that first period. Austin Keaton added 14 points for Pitman.

GOLDEN VALLEY 63, BUHACH COLONY 38, at Atwater -- John Sykes scored 16 points as the Cougars (10-12, 3-4) raced to a 23-10 first-quarter lead on their way past the Thunder (7-15, 1-6) to keep their playoff hopes alive. Junior guard Liataud Prophete and Alex Fletcher had 11 apiece for the Cougars, who built their lead to 43-18 by halftime.

"We're at the point of the season where we're basically playing playoff games," GV coach Keith Hunter said.

GV ran up and down the court, zipping passes, sinking treys and playing much the same style that earned a trip to the section quarterfinals last year.

"That's the way we have to play," said Demarya Moody, who scored 15 points. "We have to play that way all the time."

Valley Oak League

WESTON RANCH 69, SONORA 60 (OT), at Weston Ranch -- Ronnie Collins' free throw with four seconds left sent the game into overtime tied at 53, then James Nunnally scored seven of his game-high 30 points and handed out two assists in the extra period to help the Cougars (16-5, 8-0) beat the Wildcats (11-10, 4-4). "He took over in overtime," Weston Ranch coach Bill Slikker said of Nunnally. "He willed us to victory."

Brendan Evans led four Sonora players in double figures with 16 points.

CENTRAL VALLEY 51, EAST UNION 49, at Central Valley -- Trevor Mew had all 15 of his points in the second half in helping the Hawks (8-13, 3-5) rally from 14 points down late in the third quarter to beat the Lancers (6-15, 1-7).

Mew had nine points in the fourth period, including a 3-pointer with 1 minute left to give the Hawks a 51-45 lead. EU scored two quick buckets before the Hawks ran out the clock. Ricky Inderbitzin had 14 points for EU.

MANTECA 60, CERES 40, at Manteca -- Nick Scheible's 22 points helped the Buffaloes (9-12, 5-3) defeat the Bulldogs (12-9, 5-3). Brett Sayad had 22 points for Ceres.

Western Athletic Conference

LIVINGSTON 63, PATTERSON 54, at Livingston -- The Wolves (10-11, 7-2) erased a seven-point halftime deficit with a 43-27 run in the second half and handed the No. 2 small-school Tigers (17-4, 8-1) their first conference loss.

Livingston's press resulted in 21 points in the second half. Dorian Campos scored 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter, and Harnarinder Johal scored nine of his game-high 28 in the fourth. The shot-blocking of Johal and Hernandez stopped Patterson inside. Felix Mapanda led the Tigers with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC 58, HILMAR 35, at Central Catholic -- The Raiders (14-8, 4-5), rotating 12 players, opened up their offense in the third quarter and began to produce layups against the tiring Yellowjackets (13-8, 5-4). Central Catholic outscored Hilmar 34-16 in the second half. Mike Sidhu scored 12 points for the Raiders, and James Orth had 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting.

Southern League

MARIPOSA 62, LE GRAND 47, at Le Grand -- Cody Wichmann, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore, had 21 points and 10 rebounds as the No. 3 small-school Grizzlies (17-4, 9-0) maintained their stranglehold on first place with the win over the Bulldogs (8-11, 4-5). Teammate Timmy Oswald added nine points and seven assists.

It was the 14th win in a row for Mariposa, which is four games up on second-place Denair and Waterford (5-4) with six games to go.

Cody Guenthart and Marcus Rochelle also scored nine points apiece for the Grizzlies. Noel Rojas led Le Grand with 21 points, including four 3-pointers.

WATERFORD 78, DENAIR 76, at Waterford -- Zack Fowler produced a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds, while C.J. Dedeaux scored 13 points, to lead the Wildcats (11-9, 5-4) past the Coyotes (10-11, 5-4). With the Wildcats putting the clamps on Mason Wooten -- the district's No. 4 scorer had 13 points, eight below his average -- the Coyotes turned to Jared Wilcox (24 points) and Alex Correia (23) to keep it close.

Mother Lode League

SUMMERVILLE d. LINDEN, at Tuolumne -- The Bears (16-5, 7-2) picked up an easy victory when the Lions (1-19, 0-9) couldn't put enough varsity players on the court, so it goes down as a forfeit.

BRET HARTE 45, CALAVERAS 36, at San Andreas -- Brett Downey, a 6-8 center, scored 14 points as the Bullfrogs (12-8, 4-5) led 13-12 at halftime on their way past the Redskins (7-13, 2-7), despite 10 points from Josh Luke.

Harvest Christian League

BIG VALLEY CHRISTIAN 74, MILLENNIUM 22, at Modesto -- Jared Lunsford scored 23 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Lions (16-4, 6-1) rolled past Millennium. Tucker Richardson had 14 points and had five steals for Big Valley Christian. The Lions jumped to a 22-2 lead after the first quarter.