High school roundup: Johnson powers Turlock boys hoops to a key CCAL win

It didn’t matter who was in front of Turlock High’s Andrew Johnson, he was going to find a way to score.

When confronted with a like-size defender, the 6-foot-5 senior drove to the basket. If the opposing team went under a screen, he pulled up from three. When the defense overplayed him, he made a backdoor cut for an and-1.

After not scoring for two quarters in the Bulldogs’ Central California Athletic League road game against Downey, Johnson rattled off 15 straight points to start the fourth quarter, helping Turlock turn a one-point lead to an 11-point advantage and power the team to a 60-56 win. Johnson scored a game-high 24 points.

“He’s got that in him. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to remind him that he could be one of the best players on the court,” Turlock coach Doug Cornfoot said. “He can shoot outside, he can score inside, he can handle the ball. He hit that three besides our bench, and I think that kind of got him going. We need him to have games and moments like that for us to have a chance to make the playoffs.”

The Bulldogs have had an up-and-down season, but the win gets them back to .500. Turlock is 9-9 overall and 2-2 in CCAL play, good for second in the league. The Knights were looking to secure sole possession of second place with a win, but join Turlock and Enochs with 2-2 league records.

Turlock outscored Downey in the first quarter and closed the game in the fourth to secure the key league win.

“I think they’re starting to figure out what it might take to win, because they’ve kind of seen what it takes to lose,” Cornfoot said. “Hopefully the effort and practices now will pick up a notch or two trusting their teammates. We have some guys that haven’t scored stepping up and are shooting shots now … so I think as they get one win, and maybe another win, their confidence starts building.”

Downey trailed by as many as 15 in the first quarter. They trailed by 11 at the end of the frame and stormed back in the second and third quarters, outscoring the Bulldogs 28-18, making it a 36-35 game by the end of the third.

Downey’s Jayden Coelho scores on a layup over Turlock’s Peter Wilson (33) in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.
Downey’s Jayden Coelho scores on a layup over Turlock’s Peter Wilson (33) in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.

Dutch Lawrence scored 16 points for Turlock. Jayden Coelho scored 22 for Downey and Reuben Lewis added 18.

“We’ve been up and down all year,” Cornfoot said. “We’ve played well and think we’re right where we want to be and and then we’ll kind of go flat. It’s been it’s kind of been one quarter scenario for us. … We still need to learn and work better on clock management, but it was a big game and the kids knew it coming in, so it’s good to get a win again.”

The Bulldogs for the third game played with “JW” patches on their jerseys, honoring beloved coach John Williams. Now, the legacy of the coach will continue to live on forever and he will still in some fashion be with the team.

“It’s a team thing, now. We’ve gotten so much support from the community, the press and people that don’t know him,” Cornfoot said. “This is just our own personal tribute to him.”

Turlock’s Dutch Lawrence drives to the basket past Downey’s Carson Lamb in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.
Turlock’s Dutch Lawrence drives to the basket past Downey’s Carson Lamb in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.

Boys basketball

Escalon 71, Hilmar 27: Escalon led 28-10 after the first and 52-16 at halftime. They coasted to victory in the second half to finish the first half of TVL play in third place at 4-2. The Cougars have a week between games as they host Riverbank Jan. 26.

Ripon Christian 72, Ripon 60: The Knights led by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter as they coasted to a win over rival Ripon. Luke Crivello and Mason Tameling each made four 3’s. Crivello led the team with 21 points, Jake Vander Veen added 19 and Tameling added 12. Jace Beidleman nearly notched a triple double, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks.

Big Valley Christian 72, Elliot Christian 45: The Lions outscored Elliot Christian 51-25 in the second and third quarters to break the game open and pick up their 17th win this season. Big Valley moved to 2-2 in league play and will take on Turlock Christian on Tuesday.

Orestimba 74, Gustine 30: The Warriors earned their 19th win this season with a dominant showing against Gustine. Orestimba stays undefeated through the first half of Southern League play and will kick off its final six league games Wednesday at Denair.

Mountain House 62, Ceres 45: Despite playing Mountain House nearly even in the second and third quarters, Ceres did not have enough firepower to take down the No. 23 team in the section Friday night. Mountain House saw six players record at least five points, as the Mustangs advanced to 7-0 in Western Athletic Conference games and Ceres suffered its first league loss.

Beyer 65, Pacheco 46: Hot shooting helped Beyer maintain its No. 3 seed in the WAC with a dominant victory over a Pacheco outfit searching for its first league win. Beyer has won four of its past five contests and will visit Los Banos on Monday.

Golden Valley 59, Patterson 52 OT: David Nnaji scored a game-high 22 points and Amari Coley added 18, but it was not enough to lead Patterson past Golden Valley in their first meeting this season. The Tigers were hoping to move to 5-1 in Central California Conference play, but a seven-point loss means Patterson is tied with Atwater with a 4-2 league record. Three Cougars scored in double figures.

Central Catholic 68, Kimball 41: One game after TP Wentworth drilled a game-winner to beat Manteca, Central Catholic kept up its winning ways against Valley Oak League opponent Kimball at home Friday night. Both teams put up 16 points in the first frame, but a 15-4 second quarter helped the Raiders break out to a lead. Central Catholic has won seven straight and is 5-0 in league play.

Sierra 50, Oakdale 39: One game removed from beating Kimball, Oakdale could not earn its third VOL win after falling behind early to Sierra. Despite outscoring the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, they were unable to overcome a double-digit deficit.

Gregori 82, Modesto 43: Five Jaguars scored in double figures as Jayson Powers (13), Kaleb Smith (12), Raphael Rosas (12), Marcus Sims (11) and Raj Sandhu (10) led Gregori to its second league win.

Pitman 57, Enochs 43: Pitman continued to roll against CCAL opponents this season, beating Enochs by 14 on Friday night. The Pride are 4-0 in league play and have won by an average of just over 18 points per game. Pitman begins the second round of league Friday at Modesto.

Girls basketball

Escalon 54, Hilmar 30: The Cougars bounced back from their first loss this season with a 24-point win over TVL foe Hilmar, only complicating things atop the league standings. After losing to Hughson Jan 18, the Huskies, Cougars and Riverbank all have one league loss. Escalon hosts the Bruins in their next league contest Jan. 25.

Ripon Christian 28, Ripon 27: Maddie Yonker posted a 12-point, 12-rebound double double and Reagan Vander Hoek added eight points and seven rebounds in the Knights’ third win over their rivals in the last six matchups. Ripon Christian has won the last two matchups.

Boys soccer

Lathrop 3, Ceres 2: Juniors Enrique Murillo and William Duran Carrillo each scored for Ceres, but two goals was not enough to take down the No. 2 team in the WAC. Ceres has lost two of its past three games and looks to get back to winning Jan. 22 against Johansen.

Gregori 3, Modesto 1: The Jaguars remained perfect in CCAL play with a convincing road win over Modesto. They take on Enochs Saturday in a make up game.

Davis 0, Mountain House 0: Davis and Mountain House finished Friday’s match in a draw, keeping the Spartans in fifth in the WAC, just above the seventh-place Mustangs. Davis visits the WAC’s top team, Pacheco, Monday.

Waterford 3, Ripon Christian 2: Freshman Noah De Bruyn and sophomore AaronVan Hofwegen each scored second-half goals for the Knights, but a pair of first-half goals and one in the second frame led Waterford to the win. David Koolhaas allowed three goals and had five saves.

Pacheco 2, Johansen 0: The Vikings could not earn their third WAC win Friday, falling to Pacheco after allowing a goal in each half. Johansen hosts Ceres on Monday.

Turlock 2, Downey 1: Turlock scored both of its goals in the second half led by sophomore Kurtis Silveira, who scored in the frame. Fernando Carbajal had an assist.

Pitman 3, Enochs 0: Pitman handed Enochs its first CCAL loss Friday, scoring three second-half goals to break the match open late. Enochs allowed three goals for just the second time this season while Pitman has scored three or more in its past three wins.

Girls soccer

Pitman 1, Enochs 0: Pitman maintained its top spot in the CCAL on Friday with a road win over Enochs. Jasmine De Alva scored the winning goal. The Pride advanced to 3-0-1 with a matchup against Gregori on Monday to determine who keeps the league lead.

Beyer 0, Los Banos 0: The Patriots moved to 3-2-2 in WAC play after Friday’s tie against the Tigers. Beyer maintains its fourth-place spot in the league as it enters the second half of league play beginning with Ceres on Jan. 24.

Downey 1, Turlock 1: Downey and Turlock are still searching for their first CCAL win after Friday’s tie. Caroline Souza scoredthe Knights’ only goal. The Knights and Bulldogs continue league play next week. Downey plays at Gregori on Jan. 24 and Turlock travels to Modesto High on Jan. 22.

Oakdale 1, Manteca 0: Mia Peterson scored the only goal as the second-half strike helped the Mustangs upend the VOL’s top team and the No. 11 team in the section. Oakdale and Manteca are tied atop the league standings with 3-1-1 records heading into the second half of league play. Avery Alves earned the shutout and had four saves.

Ceres 3, Lathrop 2: The Bulldogs won their third straight match Friday with a narrow victory over Lathrop. Marissa Renteria, Ava Montesdeoca and Mariah Zamora each scored a goal for Ceres.

Mountain House 4, Davis 0: Jayden Reynolds and Sofia Ramos each scored twice as Mountain House picked up its seventh WAC win. The Mustangs remain the league leader. Davis will continue trying for its first league win Jan. 24 against Los Banos.

Sierra 4, Central Catholic 1: Central Catholic could not pick up its first VOL win, falling to the league’s third place team. Four separate Timberwolves scored Friday led by Leslie Reyes, who scored twice. Payton Abrew finished with three assists.

Turlock’s Andrew Johnson scores over Downey’s Reuben Lewis in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.
Turlock’s Andrew Johnson scores over Downey’s Reuben Lewis in the Central California Athletic League game at Downey High School in Modesto, Calif., Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.