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.
Denair High is in the process of forging a new foundation for its boys basketball program, complete with a new scheme, a new approach, and a newish face at head coach.
Fresh off a Big Valley Christian Tournament Championship, Turlock Christian High put another feather in its cap with a 52-45 victory over Pitman High on Monday. Senior Halie Bergman once again led the Lady Eagles, scoring 27 points despite being double and even triple teamed throughout the night by the Pride.
Turlock High faced a big challenge on Saturday, a 6-foot 8-inch obstacle to be exact. After defeating Beyer and Modesto High in the first two rounds of the 36th annual Frank Godinez Tournament, the Bulldogs found themselves pitted against big man Malik Pope and his Laguna Creek Cardinals in the Championship round.
Turlock High drove through two of the Modesto Metro Conference's best teams on Thursday and Friday to earn a shot at tonight's Godinez Tournament Championship. The Bulldogs beat Beyer High by the skin of their teeth, 43-40, in the first round on Thursday and then proceeded to manhandle Modesto High 68-40 Friday night. But Turlock's biggest test lies in the form of Laguna Creek High who handedly defeated Davis and McNair High.
It was a rematch of rivals on Saturday during the championship game of the 30th annual Atch Pedretti Tournament. Around this time last year, Turlock and Pitman High clashed over the Pedretti championship for the first time in the tournament's history, with the Bulldogs emerging victorious by landslide victory.
Turlock and Pitman High will meet on the baseball field in a game to watch, before league play even starts after both squads notched back-to-back wins in this year's Pedretti Tournament earning a spot in the championship round.
Turlock's Albino Orozco (170 pounds) is the last man standing for area wrestlers in the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The Central California Conference is known to be one of the most competitive leagues in the valley in nearly every sport-including softball.
Turlock and Pitman High kicked off track season on Friday by going the distance, joining 16 other high schools at Joe Debely Stadium for the Pitman Distance Wars. But while only a handful of each team's track competitors actually saw action on Friday, their respective rosters-sprinters, jumpers, and throwers-were in attendance to cheer their teammates on.
With preseason currently in play, the Southern Athletic League and Trans Valley League girls soccer teams prepare for another fresh season.
The California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Championships is two days away. After countless hours of practice and months of preparation-and in some cases years-seven local wrestlers are on the cusp of what will be the biggest stage of their wrestling careers. They're State bound.
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