In what is considered the wrestling season's first real test, the Pitman High wrestlers did better than expected.
DENAIR - It was as if the scoreboard was playing mind games with the Denair High boys basketball team. In one moment, the Coyotes were up by nearly double-digits. Then the next moment, they were down by a bunch.
After almost everyone walked out of the Pitman High gym and into Friday night's rain, there was a candid moment between the school's athletic director, Dave Walls, and the school's top girls basketball player.
Led by Denair High guard Clayton McDonald's 17 points, the Coyotes defeated Central Valley High 68-50 in the semifinal game of the Denair High Tournament late Friday night to earn a spot in today's tournament championship game against Central Catholic at 8 p.m.
Surprisingly, no one affiliated with the Turlock High boys basketball program closed his or her eyes in a sequence that appeared doomful. They watched in awe and anticipation, as the ball was repeatedly batted against the backboard and rim like a game of handball.
The game didn't come down to the last minute, Turlock Christian girls basketball coach Edwin Santiago protested afterward.
There was just one team that stood between the Turlock High boys basketball players and a rematch with Modesto Christian in the championship game of the 34th annual Frank Godinez Tournament.
It seemed like the perfect time for a comeback.
For most high school wrestlers from the Turlock area, the goal every season is to take that drive down Highway 99 toward Bakersfield. It's there that all the state's best congregate for the CIF Championships in early March.
Two years ago, Nick LaFrancis achieved something rare for a Denair High wrestler. He qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, which is just one step from the elusive CIF State Championships in Bakersfield. Even if he didn't win a medal or a single match, making it that far is an unforgettable experience.
When going up against a boys basketball team full of giants, there's really only one thing you can do.
As the Hilmar girls basketball team started their season by facing Waterford High Thursday night, first year coach Don Inman paced the sidelines, afraid to celebrate his birthday until the final buzzer.
This season, the girls basketball teams in the Turlock area will experience many different changes.
For the Turlock High girls basketball players, it's hard to forget about what transpired on Feb. 25.
MODESTO - The way the game started, it was safe to assume that the Turlock boys basketball team was going to give the few dozen fans inside the cold Panther Palace gym on the Modesto High campus reasons to go home early.
After three years of getting dominated by Merced (10-2), the Pitman High (9-3) varsity softball team finally made history on Friday afternoon, topping the Bears at home, 3-2, and snapping an eight game losing streak that dated back to the 2012 season.
The Turlock Christian varsity softball team has now boasted back-to-back league wins after beating Stone Ridge Christian on Friday, 16-5.
The Turlock High (8-2) varsity baseball team has quietly yet steadily been creeping and stalling just behind or barely ahead of Pitman High for the top spot in the Central California Conference for most the year.
Friday marked the third time this season that both Delhi and Denair High met for one final showdown on the tennis courts as the battle for second place in the Southern Athletic League continued heading into the final two matches.
League championships for boys golf will be held on Monday for schools across the area. These tournaments are typically a place for teams to put in one final, solid performance in the hopes of qualifying for Divisionals as a team, but for Turlock and Hilmar High, its respective tournaments will instead be a formality as its boys have a ticket to Divisionals all but in the bag.
Alyssa Stockton has experienced her fair share of success during her 11 years in a softball uniform, but her biggest achievement was undoubtedly reached on Friday when she signed her letter of intent for California State University, Bakersfield where she will become one of the Roadrunners' pitchers.
The battle for first place in the Central California Conference varsity girls soccer standings is heating up.
Pitman High currently has 11 student-athletes competing at the collegiate level for track and field and after Tuesday, the list of Pride athletes participating in this sport grew with the addition of four more standouts.
Pitman and Turlock High met in the pool for a classic crosstown Central California Conference showdown on Friday, with the Pride starting strong and ending the day with wins for both the boys (109-60) and girls (106-64) teams.
With only five games left in the Central California Conference season, Pitman High softball is on a mission to dethrone two-time defending CCC champs Merced High. The Pride continued their hunt for the Bears' first place position on Friday with a 10-1 home win against rival Turlock High, extending their league record to 9-6 and closing Merced's lead by only two games.
The Pitman High Pride varsity baseball team is now 6-1 in the Central California Conference after beating Atwater, 2-1, on Friday afternoon thanks to Josh Hernandez's 6 and 2/3 innings pitched as he gave up only one run on four hits and walked two.
There is no stopping the Turlock High (7-0) Bulldogs varsity baseball team right now.
Hilmar High ace starting pitcher Jacob Ahid struck out 13 and allowed only one earned run in Friday's tournament finale against Mariposa and the Yellowjackets lost in a tight 0-1 decision, snapping a three game winning streak.
Pitman High's softball team is currently competing in the Northern California Classic Tournament in Tracy, and as of Friday, the Pride are a perfect 2-0 after sweeping through Santa Teresa and Los Banos in their opening games.
Turlock High softball started this season's Central California Conference campaign o the right foot, winning three of its first five league games after winning a total of only two league games last season. After back-to-back one-run wins against Merced and Buhach Colony High the Bulldogs hit a snag, however, as they skid into spring break with a pair of losses to Atwater and Golden Valley High.