Marquez does it all for Buhach

slynch@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 30, 2013 

TURLOCK -- The were more than a few signs it was Joe Marquez's night.

There was the three just before halftime that seemed to bounce off every side of the rim before it fell through.

There was the overthrown inbounds pass that he managed to track down just before the baseline and deliver a behind the back pass to Kaden Verdin for a layup.

And there was the failed attempt to draw a foul while shooting that he still managed to bank in from a tough angle.

There was also Buhach Colony's third quarter.

The Turlock High boys basketball team had no answer for Marquez on the Thunder's home court as he scored 10 of his game-high 28 points and helped lead the Thunder to a 69-60 victory on Wednesday night.

The loss coupled with Golden Valley's win all but eliminates the Bulldogs' Central California Conference title hopes. Turlock, BC and Atwater now all sit three games back of the Cougars with three games to play.

Knowing that their title hopes had all but been dashed with last week's loss to Atwater, Marquez said the Thunder are just trying to have fun in the second half of conference play.

"Coach has faith in us to see what the defense is doing and call the offense," Marquez said. "Everybody is playing hard and tonight it just happened that a few more shots fell for me.

"We were having success with me dribble driving inside, and so we stuck with it."

Good as Marquez was offensively, Buhach Colony (4-3 CCC, 16-8) turned the game around with its defensive effort in the second quarter.

The Thunder press seemed passive in the opening quarter and the Bulldogs (4-3 CCC, 14-10) had little trouble picking it apart.

Turlock shot 9 of 19 in the first quarter, with most of its points coming on easy shots in the paint as it raced to a 20-15 lead.

Things didn't come nearly as easy in the second quarter as BC upped its intensity and pressure. The Thunder defense got up on their men and Turlock struggled to execute its offense, turning the ball over seven times.

Buhach took advantage, opening the second quarter with a 10-2 run and taking a 34-27 lead into intermission.

"I thought overall our defensive performance was really good," BC coach John Bliss said. "A lot of guys really contributed tonight and I thought we frustrated them."

Marquez helped put things away with his 10-point outburst in the third quarter to go along with his five assists.

Turlock kept fighting behind Kenny Fraser (13 points) and Deshawn Holcombe (12 points, 12 rebounds) but couldn't get any closer than six in the fourth quarter.

Verdin had 11 points for BC and Stephen Hillyer had 10 points off of the bench.

Merced 63, Pitman 33

TURLOCK -- Travante Richard and Jeremy Busko each poured in a game-high 16 points as the Bears rolled the Pride on the road.

COLLEGE

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Merced College 71, Porterville 60

PORTERVILLE -- Gurpreet Sangha's 23 points and 10 rebounds helped the Blue Devils pick up their first victory since November 2011.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Merced College 70,

West Hills 30

COALINGA -- Kelsey Lemasney broke her own school record with eight 3-pointers en route to a game-high 29 points in a win over the Falcons.

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