It didn't take long for Matt Thissen to recall his favorite part of the first half.
"It was our only basket," the Golden Valley girls basketball coach said.
The rest of that half against Merced was a nightmare for Thissen and his team.
How else do you describe a 1-for-27 shooting performance?
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Merced remained unbeaten in the Central California Conference with a 53-33 win over its cross-town rival Tuesday night at Cougar Arena.
"We hit one shot," said a still-shocked Thissen. "We got all the shots we wanted -- 2-footers, 5-footers, 10-footers. We made just five out of 12 free throws.
"When you shoot that poorly, you're going to be down big at halftime against Merced or whoever you're playing."
And they were -- 29-7 at the break.
The evening wasn't exactly an offensive showcase for Merced, either.
Merced (6-0 CCC, 14-6 overall) didn't have any player score in double digits.
"We looked up at the scoreboard in the third quarter and we only had 30 points," said senior Casey Kelly, who led Merced with 9 points.
"It was like, 'Geez, we usually score a lot more than this.' But we locked down on defense."
Merced did have nine different players score.
"It's always a different game when you go on the road," Merced coach John Bliss said. "It's even more so when you play your rival.
"This was a good game in that we had some other players contribute a little more. It wasn't our more recognizable players."
Golden Valley (3-3, 10-11) turned it around and actually outscored Merced 26-24 in the second half.
"It was two totally different games of basketball in those two halves," Thissen said.
Surman Purewall led GV with 10 points.
"It's fun playing a team when you can actually have side conversations with players you know," Kelly said. "You can cut it up a little bit.
"The win means a little more because you can talk about it later."
Central California Conference
MERCED 53GOLDEN VALLEY 33
At Golden Valley
Merced 18 11 5 19 -- 53
Golden Valley 4 3 12 14 -- 33
MERCED -- Casey Kelly 9, Saadijah Abdul-Hameem 1, Alyssa Wright 8, Rachel Turner 6, Mercedes Lee 8, Dalemesha Hill 7, Marquitta Barron 3, Karine Meyer 5, Erika Marmolejo 6. Totals 18 10-19 53.
GOLDEN VALLEY -- Surman Purewall 10, Ebony Washington 5, Porsha Grayson 4, Allison Cruz 2, Alaina Stewart 1, Danielle Valadez 3, Beatriz Naranjo 2, Becky Morris 6. Totals 9 13-25 33.
3-pointers: Merced 7 (Kelly 3, Marmolejo 2, Lee 1, Wright 1), Golden Valley 2 (Grayson 1, Purewall 1); Team Fouls: Merced 19, GV 18; Fouled Out -- Wright (M), Purewall (GV).
Records: Merced 6-0 CCC, 14-6 overall; Golden Valley 3-3, 10-11.