TURLOCK -- The scoreboard looked ugly.
The Turlock girls basketball team dispatched of a snake-bitten Merced squad 66-49.
However, Merced coach Brad Reed was in a half-glass full sort of mood.
For good reason.
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After stumbling out of the gate, Reed's girls had played toe-to-toe with the top team in the Central California Conference for the final three quarters.
Merced (4-11, 1-1 CCC) cut a 22-point, second-half deficit to just eight points in the third quarter before Turlock finally pulled away again in the fourth quarter.
"Really, I'd say those last three quarters we didn't give then anything that you saw in that first quarter," Reed said.
"We came out a little rattled and when they picked up the pressure we were rattled a little more.
"In the second half, we got back and stopped giving up as many easy baskets."
Rachel Finnegan, The Bee's 2008 girls basketball player of the year, and Turlock (14-3, 2-0) shredded Merced in the first.
Finnegan scored eight of her game-high 24 points in a quarter that saw Turlock take a 23-8 lead. She also grabbed 12 rebounds.
However, Merced kept it close.
Rachel Turner scored 17 points and Rebecca Schonauer added 11 points for the Bears.
PITMAN 50, BUHACH COLONY 24, at Turlock -- Sophomore guard Jasmine Washington scored 22 points to go with her eight rebounds and seven steals as the Pride (7-7, 1-1) rolled past the Thunder.
Washington did much of her damage driving to the hoop and hitting mid-range jumpers or getting fouled and making her free throws..
Kim Lough led Buhach Colony with nine points.
LOS BANOS 52, ATWATER 41, at Los Banos -- Brooke Silva scored 19 points as the Tigers (9-7, 1-1) beat the Falcons (4-9, 0-2). Patience Madayag led Atwater with 11 points.
OAKDALE 64, MANTECA 54, at Manteca -- Hannah Stanton scored a game-high 18 points and Cassandra Clark added 16, including two clutch 3-pointers late, to help the Mustangs (2-0 VOL).
Davina Bennett led Manteca (8-7, 1-1) with 12 points, while Morgan Salsedo and Sharon Washington tallied 11 apiece.
"It was a close game the entire way," Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt said. "It was tied going into the fourth quarter, then Cassandra Clark hit two huge 3-pointers toward the end of the game."
CERES 40, SIERRA 35, at Ceres -- Jode Johnson's 16 points and 10 more from Stephanie Yankovich helped the Bulldogs (5-9, 1-1 VOL) overcome an 18-point performance by Heather Scharmann and beat the Timberwolves (6-8, 0-2).
WESTON RANCH 54, CENTRAL VALLEY 42, at Stockton -- Timneshia Wilson and Courtney Duran each scored 14 points as the Cougars (11-4, 1-1) came back from a 17-16 halftime deficit to toppled the Hawks (5-8, 0-2).
Denell Fox scored eight of her nine points, and teammate DeArbia Gardner scored all seven of her points, in the fourth quarter.
ORESTIMBA 33, LIVINGSTON 29, at Newman -- Sarah Spaulding scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and the Warriors (7-4, 1-1 WAC) beat the Wolves (3-9, 0-2 WAC) despite being held scoreless in the second quarter. Conseulo Hernandez had 11 rebounds for Livingston.
HILMAR 58, GUSTINE 26, at Hilmar -- Hilmar's Jessica Paine scored eight of her 13 points during the third quarter, when the Yellowjackets (12-1, 2-0 WAC) outscored the Redskins (1-7, 0-2) 22-5 to pull away for the victory. Gustine's Taylor Coerley led all scorers with 14 points.
PATTERSON 50, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 41, at Modesto -- Cassie Coble scored 18 points as the Tigers (6-8, 2-0) beat the Raiders (5-9, 1-1). Allison Lenzora led CC with 14 points.
MARIPOSA 44, TURLOCK CHRISTIAN 40 (OT), at Turlock -- Jackie Brondolo and Julie Wurzbach each scored 10 points as the Grizzlies (3-7, 3-0) got past the Eagles (10-5, 1-2) in overtime. TC's Molly Farrar had a game-high 16 points.
DENAIR 38, DELHI 36, at Denair -- Malorie Gallardo had 13 points and nine rebounds, leading the Coyotes (7-8, 1-2) past the Hawks (5-6, 0-3).
BRET HARTE 61, RIPON CHRISTIAN 10, at Angels Camp -- Kelli Carlin scored 18 points, leading a Bullfrogs defense that had 18 steals in the nonleague win.
ESCALON 66, ARGONAUT 56, at Escalon -- Leighton Pangelinan had 10 points and 11 rebounds to back a 16-point effort from Doyle Niu in a nonleague game.