There was no shortage of motivation Thursday night when Turlock High traveled across town to face Pitman High in the final water polo match of the Central California Conference season. In addition to the in-town rivalry, the Bulldogs were eager to erase the memories from their last meeting with the Pride. Above all, however, Turlock wanted a win to keep its post-season hopes alive.
It was a shaky beginning to the Central California Conference season for Turlock High this year. In their first six games the Bulldogs surprisingly went 1-3-2, leading many in the league to believe the defending champs were in decline.
Hilmar High's hopes of claiming a share of the Trans Valley League volleyball championship evaporated Tuesday night when unbeaten Escalon High rolled into town. In a match reminiscent of the rivals' meeting earlier in the year, the Cougars beat the Yellowjackets 3-1 (14-25, 26-24, 25-27, and 25-19). Although missing out on the league title was a bitter pill to swallow, giving up their only losses of the season to Escalon was even tougher for Hilmar.
Turlock High's girls claimed their 9th consecutive Central California Conference Championship with an impressive showing at the Championship Tournament at the Merced Country Club. The Bulldogs finished the day with a team score of 439, 27 strokes in front of second place Merced High. Rival Pitman High finished third with 505.
Pitman High's Britney Leon spent last season competing on the tennis court in the doubles bracket but her sights were always set on singles glory. She worked on her game through the summer and when the 2012 season began she found herself representing the Pride as the number one singles player, positioning herself as the unquestioned leader of her team.
Turlock and Pitman High took part in the Delong Invitational in Stockton and Modesto this past weekend, their last tournament of the 2012 water polo season. The Bulldogs competed in the A bracket and the Pride competed in the B bracket but both finished 3-2 after two days, giving the teams a dose of confidence before their final cross-town matchup and the end of the Central California Conference season.
Friday night's Southern League matchup between Turlock Christian (3-5), and Denair (1-7), dealt TC its fifth straight loss as Denair picked up its second consecutive win.
With 5:47 left in the first half, Hilmar's Breck Smith went in from 2-yards out and the Yellowjackets added the point after, trimming the Escalon Cougars' lead to 14-7. Unfortunately for Hilmar, that was as close as they would get, and the host Cougars put the clamps on with a decisive 33-7 win on Friday night.
The Pitman High football team knew the Merced Bears were going to be a tough team to beat but the Pride didn't expect the mauling they received at home on Friday. The Bears (2-1 CCC) covered 459 yards through the air and on the ground on their way to a 44-13 rout over the Pride; it was Pitman's worst loss to date.
Turlock and Pitman High were originally scheduled to face-off on the tennis courts last week, but an unexpected downpour forced the rivals to push back the match until Monday. But even though the second meeting between the Bulldogs and Pride was delayed, there was no stopping the eventual outcome, an 8-1 Turlock win.
Turlock Christian High had a tough time responding to Ripon Christian High's power and persistence on Monday, sending the Knights (10-0 SAL) home with a still perfect record after a straight set loss (25-8, 25-15, and 29-27) for the Eagles.
Turlock and Pitman High took a weekend break from the Central California Conference water polo season to compete in the Girls Western States Tournament, finishing 25th in the A bracket and 6th in the B bracket, respectively.
Momentum is the seed of confidence in football; the ever important quality every team wants and needs, especially those looking to build on their first win. Delhi High knew it needed to get out to a quick start against Ripon Christian High if Saturday night was going to end in victory, and for the first two quarters the Hawks (1-3 SAL) did just that.
The Central California Conference volleyball season is two-thirds of the way through and Pitman High is standing at the top of the heap. The Pride (10-0 CCC) kept the ball rolling on their undefeated league campaign Thursday night, beating the Turlock Bulldogs in the second cross-town match of the year 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, and 25-12).
Turlock High's girls golf team defeated Pitman High for the second time this season 244-278. Thursday's matchup began moments after the day's downpour ended but the water was still a factor as both schools struggled with the conditions on the green. Turlock's Hannah Gong finished the day with a score of 43, the Bulldogs' best of the day, while Bergen Benedict shot a 48. Pitman's group failed to shoot below 51 but golfers like Sheyenne Sousa were able to make the best of the day by focusing on individual effort.
The Pitman Pride found redemption in this week's Central California Conference matchup against Golden Valley. Coming off a loss to Merced last week, the Pride held the Cougars to minimal yards and took the, 27-0, victory Friday night at Golden Valley High School.
Turlock High put in its best performance of the season Friday night during its homecoming matchup against Atwater High, dominating the Falcons 56-7.
Don't lose it. Keep grinding.
Q. What is the hardest part about playing water polo?
Turlock and Pitman high each had multiple singles players compete on Tuesday in the opening rounds of the Central California Conference girls tennis singles tournament in Atwater. However, only Turlock's number one singles player, Mila Johns, swept through her opponents and is now moving on to Thursday's championship match against Golden Valley's Dani Vigil.
Both the Turlock boys and girls water polo teams found victory Tuesday in the Bulldogs' home pool when they hosted Central California Conference foe Atwater.
For the 11th season in a row, Turlock High has finished Central California Conference competition as champions in girls golf. The Bulldogs cemented their place as 2014 CCC title holders by shooting a 448 at Monday's CCC Championships in Atwater-86 strokes ahead of second place Pitman High.
Bears stop Pride
There's nothing like a long-standing rivalry on the gridiron.
Barn burner, slobber knocker or nail biter. All three could be used to describe Turlock High's 48-47 victory over Buhach Colony High at Joe Debely Stadium on Friday night.
Q. What do you like most about the game of golf?
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