Latest News

Merced basketball buzzing: Huddleston hits game winner to beat Turlock

Allen Huddleston wasn't taking any chances.

With a shot to win the game, the Merced star waved off his teammates.

Huddleston wanted to do it himself .

With eight seconds left, he dribbled the ball down court, stopped just short of the lane and nailed a fadeaway jumper from 10 feet away as the buzzer sounded.

Final score: Merced 59, Turlock 57.

"I just wanted to get to the basket," said Huddleston, who poured in 36 points.

"I didn't want to take a 3 or a jumper. When I got by my guy, I saw another guy just standing to take a charge.

"So I shot a little fadeway and it went in."

Huddleston rebounded from a first half that saw him make just 3 of 12 shots.

His teammates didn't help much either as Merced missed a lot of easy baskets and misfired from long distance.

The steady play of Eric Wetzel, Travis Souza and Anthony Hubbard gave Turlock (1-1 Central California Conference, 10-7 overall) a 27-25 lead at the half.

"It was our home opener and our guys were amped," said Merced coach Marcus Knott, whose team improved to 2-0 in the CCC and 9-6 overall. "I think this was one situation where there was too much excitement and anticipation.

"Our guys played kind of tight in the first half."

Huddleston put on a show in the second half.

The senior guard attacked the basket and scored 12 straight points for Merced during one stretch.

Huddleston scored 25 of his points in the second half.

"He finally stopped shooting the 3s and fadeaways," Knott said. "He attacked the rim."

Turlock refused to go away.

Wetzel scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Souza and Hubbard both added 16 points as the game went back and forth down the stretch.

Two illegal screen violations on Merced gave Turlock a shot to win the game in the final seconds.

Souza tied the game at 57-57.

On Turlock's next possession, Hubbard collided with Merced's Patrick Franey on the way to the basket -- and it was Hubbard called for the charge with eight seconds remaining.

Turlock coach Doug Cornfoot couldn't believe the call.

"For some reason we don't get the respect we deserve in these types of games," Cornfoot said.

"Our kids played their hearts out. They did everything we asked."

That set the stage for Huddleston.

"That was give it to your best player and let him make a shot," Knott said.

"I didn't want to call a timeout in that situation. We just tried to isolate him. We had enough time to just let him go."


At Merced

Turlock 16 11 17 13 -- 57

Merced 15 10 17 17 -- 59

TURLOCK -- Shane Kumar 3, Anthony Hubbard 16, Travis Souza 16, Eric Wetzel 22. Totals: 25 4-7 57.

MERCED -- Reggie Nelson 8, Eddie Beavers 5, Allen Huddleston 36, Manny Orozco 4, Marques Barron 6. Totals: 20 15-20 59.

3-pointers: Turlock 3 (Kumar 1, Souza 1, Wetzel 1), Merced 4 (Huddleston 3, Nelson 1); Team Fouls: Turlock 14, Merced 17; Fouled Out -- None.

Records: Turlock 1-1 CCC, 10-7 overall; Merced 2-0, 9-6.

JV -- Turlock won 51-48.