Rachel Finnegan couldn't wait to get back on the court.
Three first-half fouls had forced the Turlock star to watch nine minutes of the first half from the bench.
"It was horrible," Finnegan said. "It was the longest nine minutes. That's for sure."
Finnegan then showed why she will likely be named the Central California Conference MVP for the second straight year.
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The senior scored 21 of her 23 points in the second half to help Turlock erase a nine-point deficit as Turlock remained undefeated in the Central California Conference with a 56-54 win on Thursday night at Cougar Arena.
"I know I had to come out strong," Finnegan said. "We were down by nine and we had to pick up the pace. We played slow in the first half."
The third quarter featured an individual shootout between Finnegan and GV's Porsha Grayson.
Grayson scored 10 of her 22 points in the quarter.
However, Finnegan answered back with 13 to help Turlock (9-0 CCC, 21-3 overall) pull within 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Finnegan then scored eight points during a 12-4 run that put Turlock ahead to stay at 54-49 with 2:32 remaining in the game.
Golden Valley (4-4 CCC, 9-13) fought back to cut the lead to 56-54, but out of time.
The tears after the game showed just how much the GV girls wanted the win.
"It's hard to take," Golden Valley coach Chris Tufts said. "We were win position to win the game all game and that's what we wanted."
At Golden Valley
Turlock 10 9 21 16 -- 56
Golden Valley 5 23 14 12 -- 54
TURLOCK -- Surman Purewall 6, Tori Johnson 5, Porsha Grayson 22, Teena Brazell 2, Toni Moore 8, Becky Morris 11. Totals: 20 10-17 54.
GOLDEN VALLEY -- Christian Richardson 2, Camille Roberts 10, Candace Sakuda 9, Rachel Finnegan 23, Natalie Dykzeul 3, Nicole Serpa 9. Totals: 18 18-24 56.
3-pointers: Turlock 1 (Finnegan 1), Golden Valley 4 (Grayson 2, Purewall 1, Johnson 1); Team Fouls: Turlock 16, Golden Valley 20; Fouled Out -- Stewart (GV).
JV -- Turlock won. Freshmen -- Turlock won.