In almost every game, Turlock High's Matt Ruesga provides a unique stat. It's the kind that a high school boys basketball supporter doesn't see too often, perhaps because the amount of sacrifice it requires.
For coach Mike Contreras, it was difficult to predict the future.
This time, it wasn't the Emilio Saavedra show. That's because Pitman High wrestling coach Adam Vasconcellos decided to give the freshman sensation - already considered a favorite to win the state's 103-pound title in March and the winner of numerous tournaments this season - the weekend off.
Pitman High's Zaya Ismail did not have the best week.
Just seconds after his team survived one of the season's closest calls, Turlock High boys basketball reserve Cristian Jinenez let out an excited "woo!" Even from his point of view, he knew this win was big. So his gesture could've also been easily taken as a sigh of relief.
Matt Ruesga is a hard-to-miss type of person.
On Tuesday night, the Turlock High girls basketball team was thrown into an environment that the girls hadn't seen much of this season. They were inside the gym of their crosstown rivals, with hundreds of fans packing the stands - though the Turlock side might've had more people. They all roared when something significant happened.
In one of the major gauges of the state tournament, last weekend's Temecula Valley Invitational allowed wrestlers from the Turlock area to go up against elite competition. Some of them did well - well enough to go home with first-place medals and respect from their peers.
DENAIR - On most nights, the shots would've fallen. The crowd would've erupted in cheers. And Denair High boys basketball coach Curtis Wooten would've had something else to worry about.
Tuesday night will be the first of three battles this season between the Turlock and Pitman high girls basketball teams. The Pride players talked with excitement earlier this week about the upcoming matchup, adding that "we're ready."
The Pitman High girls basketball players couldn't help but cringe once they noticed they were on the wrong end of a lopsided score Thursday night at the Lion's Den.
DENAIR - The Denair High boys basketball players' main objective in Tuesday night's game against league rival Turlock Christian was this: Stop Brandon Rogers, who averages nearly 30 points.
His drenched-in-sweat shirt looked as if he had taken a dip into a pool. His legs must've had felt like they climbed a mountain, bearing in mind the type of workout his coach puts him and his teammates through.
Turlock High senior wrestler Fabian Garcia doesn't like losing, especially because he hasn't experienced much of it as a Bulldog.
As they walked out of their locker room on their way to greet waiting family and friends, smiles were painted all over the faces of the Pitman High boys basketball players and coaches.
Action at the Denair High basketball tournament resumed on Friday when two local teams in Turlock Christian and Delhi met on the court in the consolation bracket with both teams seeking a win after falling in the first round.
Denair High will be playing for third place in its Denair Holiday Classic today after dropping Friday's game against Millennium High, 52-62. The Coyotes (4-8) hit the court strong against the Falcons (6-0) in the first half, but a third quarter slump that saw Millennium nearly double Denair's offensive output dashed the Coyotes' hopes at a championship run in their home tournament.
The girls of Turlock Christian High (6-4) hosted the much improved Denair Coyotes (4-4) on Friday night in a critical showdown between the two local schools.
In a complete turnaround from last year's disappointing start, the Denair High boys basketball team cruised its way out of the opening round of their home tournament with a convincing 52-29 win over Tioga High on Thursday night.
The Turlock Christian Eagles did not start off the Denair High basketball tournament how they had hoped, but instead fell into the consolation bracket after dropping the first game to Hughson in the opening round on Thursday night, 50-73.
Delhi High's boys basketball team pulled double duty on Thursday. First they put their brains to the test for finals, then they kicked off the Denair Holiday Classic with a game against Linden High.
Denair High nearly upset Ripon High on the wrestling mat Wednesday night, out-pinning the Indians four to six, but 18 points from a trio of forfeits was too much for the Coyotes to overcome. With holes at the 106-pound, 160-pound and Heavyweight weight classes, Denair dropped its first dual meet of the season, 30-41.
The Pride of Pitman came into their second game of the 38th annual Frank Godinez tournament against Laguna Creek - which had to forfeit their first round game due to Thursday's storm -with hopes of turning things around after a crushing first round loss to Beyer High.
Another solid effort from Turlock High on the court has landed the Bulldogs in the finals of the Frank Godinez Boys Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row.
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