Turlock High's December schedule was brutal. Over the span of three weeks, Bulldog wrestlers competed in the Clovis West Shootout, the Reno Tournament of Champions, and the Zinkin Classic; gaining valuable experience against top level competition.
Turlock and Laguna Creek High met on the court of Bulldog Arena for the second time this season Friday night. The last time the Bulldogs (9-7) and Cardinals (9-7) faced off the Godinez Championship was on the line and Turlock emerged victorious with an overwhelming 54-36 victory.
Hilmar High put up its most lopsided win of the season against Denair High on Thursday. After recovering from a four game losing streak with a victory over Turlock Christian High a week ago, the Yellowjackets continued their march forward with a 54-20 effort.
Pitman High's girls basketball team was having trouble putting the pieces together before this year's West Coast Jamboree. The Pride were putting points on the board and showing flashes of their talent but an inability to finish when needed put them on a downward slide into the losers' column.
This year's Ceres Holiday Tournament proved to be the perfect setting for the boys of Pitman High to undergo a growth spurt as a team. Sitting with a record of 2-8 before the tournament's opening day, the Pride showed a resilient determination towards improvement with strong performances and wins over Oakdale and Delhi High.
The Ceres Holiday Tournament was a challenge for Delhi High, but that's exactly what the Hawks were expecting. Rather than enter with hopes of a tournament championship, Delhi stepped onto Ceres' court with the aim to better itself through direct competition.
With a dual against Madera High, the Clovis West Shootout, and the Reno Tournament of Champions in its rearview, Turlock High added another marking point to its brutal pre-season schedule with the Zinkin Classic over the weekend.
Pitman High's basketball season wasn't looking so hot before the beginning of the 33rd annual Ceres Holiday Tournament on Thursday. The Pride were riding a seven game losing streak; but a 41-34 victory over Oakdale High in the first round ended that downward slide.
Turlock High hosted Manteca High Friday night and from the tip off it was apparent that the Bulldogs would have a difficult time wrangling the Buffaloes.
In recent years Pitman High has developed a habit of close competition with Buhach Colony High so when the Thunder hosted the Pride on Wednesday head coach Adam Vasconcellos knew exactly what to expect.
The scoreboard read 48-47 with 37 seconds left in regulation. Pitman High was clinging to its only lead of the night and on the brink of a hard fought team victory against an undefeated Hilmar High.
Delhi High's Monday night game against the girls of Big Valley Christian High was a chance for the Hawks to recover from four straight losses and a less than stellar showing at the Le Grand Tournament.
The last couple weekends have been busy for Valley wrestlers, full of preparation, travel, and formidable competition. Both a gauge for potential and a forge for talent, pre-season tournaments like the Reno Tournament of Champions and the Modesto Junior College Western Invitational provide coaches with a chance to form long-term expectations for their wrestlers, individually and as a team.
The girls of Denair High got a taste of the playoffs last season for the first time in nearly a decade. Now, the Lady Coyotes are hungry for more and back on the court-well, almost.
Six years ago Denair High's wrestling program was virtually non-existent, boasting a three man roster and receiving little to no interest from the student body. This season's squad is still small compared to the likes of Turlock or Pitman High, but with 18 Coyotes in the wrestling room head coach Don Helnore can say that Denair wrestling is growing-and with a middle school wrestling program cultivating interest in the sport, it's safe to say that growth will continue for years to come.
Hilmar High's softball team hosted first place Hughson High on Tuesday in a Trans Valley League matchup the Yellowjackets needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Hilmar girls soccer team is on the brink of elimination from playoff contention if they fail to win out all four of their final Trans Valley League bouts this season.
The top two girls soccer teams in the Central California Conference in Turlock and Merced squared off on Monday in a much anticipated battle to see who would take the first place position heading into the final month of the season.
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