TURLOCK Before the start of conference play Shane Gentry talked about wanting to see more of a killer instinct from his team.
The Buhach Colony girls basketball coach saw it on Tuesday.
The Thunder forced four straight turnovers to start the second half as they started the third quarter with a 9-0 run on their way to a 57-28 win over Pitman in the Central California Conference opener for both teams at Pitman High.
“We tried to jump on them right away but we only had a nine-point lead at halftime,” said Buhach Colony point guard Allison Wisdom. “We reinforced the talk of a killer instinct at halftime. We talked about do we want to just beat Pitman or do we want to come out and make a statement.”
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Wisdom also made a personal statement as the leader out of the gate for CCC MVP.
The fourth-year starter filled the stat sheet with 21 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
The stat that jumped out to Gentry was Wisdom’s assists.
“I can’t say enough about what Allison did tonight,” said Gentry, whose team improved to 12-5 overall. “That’s what we talked about with her is her ability to distribute the basketball and getting other people involved. We’re hard to beat when she does that because the focus is going to be on her.”
At times Buhach Colony has struggled finishing near the basket. That wasn’t the case against the Pride (9-9) as Brandy Coward scored 16. Taj Seals also added seven points and seven rebounds.
“When I’m focused on scoring I’m being selfish,” Wisdom said. “When I’m kick the ball out or pass it down low, I’m creating opportunities for other players. At the same time, it’s going to open things up for me. It means a lot to have players ready to fight for rebounds. They want the ball.”
The Thunder forced 17 of their 29 turnovers in the second half as they applied more pressure on the ball in their press.
Cady Riley finished with 13 points for the Pride.
“When we can play with that type of intensity for four quarters it’s scary,” Gentry said.
Golden Valley 38, Turlock 28
The Cougars jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter on their way to winning their CCC opener over the Bulldogs.
Camille Flores paced Golden Valley (10-8) with 11 points. Jessica Lane added 10.
Los Banos 58, Livingston 39
LOS BANOS The Tigers outscored the Wolves 33 to 14 in the second half to pull away. Jacquelin Arretche led all scorers with 16 points for Los Banos (14-6 overall, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference).