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Merced streakin'

TURLOCK -- Allen Huddleston may want to slide a calculator into his sock.

The Merced star keeps losing track of his point totals.

The junior poured in 39 points to help Merced win its sixth straight and remain unbeaten in the Central California Conference with a 66-60 win over Turlock on Wednesday night.

"In the first half, I usually keep track, but once I get to about 15 or 17, I lose count," Huddleston said.

"I stop counting and figure the game will just come to me."

Huddleston could have planted a flag at the free-throw line.

He made 17 of 20 to help him reach 39 points for the third time this season.

"I guess it's not meant for me to score 40," Huddleston said. "I can't get over the hump."

Huddleston's scoring output helped Merced overcome the absence of center Kenny Cooper -- who missed the game for disciplinary reasons.

Will Cooper miss more than one game?

"That's up to him," Merced coach Marcus Knott said.

Without Cooper, Merced adjusted its offense and played with four guards on the court during most of the game.

Despite Huddleston's performance, Merced never got in a rhythm offensively.

"We had a lot of guys standing around, including myself," Huddleston said. "We ended up letting them hang around."

The game was tied at 43-43 heading into the fourth quarter.

Huddleston scored 17 points in the final quarter, with 12 points coming from the free-throw line.

"A lot of times when you get those high point totals, you shoot a lot of free throws," Knott said. "Allen did a good job of being aggressive and going to the basket."

Merced's Jarrett Sparks added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Merced, which hosts Atwater Friday night, improved to 4-0 in the CCC and 12-7 overall.

Turlock slipped to 2-2 and 14-6.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com.

Central California Conference

MERCED 66,

TURLOCK 60

Merced 17 18 8 23 -- 66

Turlock 16 15 12 17 -- 60

MERCED -- Bobby Salinas 2, Eddie Beavers 2, Allen Huddleston 39, Jarrett Sparks 18, Matt Akers 2, Patrick Franey 1, Bernard Bolden 2. Totals 20 21-31 66.

TURLOCK -- Matt Walker 4, Efram Harris 4, Travis Souza 16, Eric Wetzel 14, Jason Moore 1, Gavin Souza 5, Jadon Williamson 11, Kevin Wetzel 4, Robert Mendes 1. Totals 22 15-22 60.

3-pointers: Merced 4 (Huddleston 4, Sparks 1), Turlock 1 (G. Souza); Total fouls: Merced 18, Turlock 19; Fouled out: Sparks (M).

Records -- Merced 4-0 CCC, 12-7 overall; Turlock 2-2, 14-6

JV -- Merced won 48-42.

Frosh -- Turlock won.

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