Sports

Shawn Jansen: Turlock hopes fourth time might be the charm

Shawn Jansen
Shawn Jansen

Thursday had to be a tough day for Turlock boys basketball coach Doug Cornfoot.

You can only imagine how many times Wednesday night's fourth-quarter collapse against Merced ran through his head.

It was the third time Cornfoot's boys had lost a nailbiter to Merced this season, including a buzzer-beater by Allen Huddleston at Merced a few weeks ago.

Merced's three wins over Turlock have come by a combined eight points.

"They're a good team," Cornfoot said. "We've played them three times and three times it came right down to the end.

"I can only hope that fourth game comes around."

It was hard to see Merced's fourth-quarter rally coming.

The first half was one of the worst Merced had played this season.

Marcus Knott's boys turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter alone.

It wasn't like Merced was turning the ball over against a pressure defense. Turlock sat back in a zone and watched as Merced made poor passes.

"I don't know if it was nerves or what," Knott said. "We were just in a hurry.

"Turlock did a good job of slowing us down. It's no secret that we don't like to play that way."

Here's some other news and notes as the week winds to an end:

Tonight is Golden Valley's turn to travel to Turlock.

Who knows what Turlock team will show up after Wednesday's disappointing loss?

A GV win sets up a huge matchup next week with Merced coming to Cougar Arena.

The two locked up in a memorable overtime game two weeks ago, with Golden Valley winning 87-84.

"It's going to be a great game," Huddleston said. "They're playing well. We're playing well. It's on Friday the 13th -- not that I'm looking ahead."

The Sac-Joaquin Section released the first basketball power ratings of the season this week.

The Merced and Golden Valley boys were both in the top four in Division I and have a good shot at staying near the top.

The Division I boys playoff looks to be wide open.

I've actually seen many of the teams in the top 10 and I think both Merced and GV could make deep runs this year, especially if Merced gets a healthy Kenny Cooper back.

A team on the outside of the playoffs right now that nobody would want to play is Sheldon.

The Elk Grove school was ranked No. 20, but it plays in the toughest league in the Delta River League.

Sheldon is as talented as any team in Division I and with a late run could work its way back in the playoffs.

Sheldon picked up one of the wins it needed on Wednesday with a 60-50 win over Florin.

You may have noticed one of the local names missing on National Signing Day was Buhach Colony soccer star Aly Gleason.

The goalie verbally committed to Stanford months ago.

Gleason is still going to Stanford.

However, she'll be receiving merit-based scholarships that will cover 87 percent of the $51,000 annual tuition at Stanford.

Many of the smaller college sports will go this route with their athletes that qualify for other scholarships to save their athletic scholarships.

For instance, the Stanford women's soccer team only has

12 athletic scholarships to hand out for 24 spots on the roster.

Gleason is joining a program that is ranked fourth in the nation and reached the Final Four of the NCAA College Cup last year.

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

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