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.
Hilmar High's track team is, as it has been for some time, on the small side this year. Not physically, but in overall numbers. There are roughly 40 athletes filling the overall roster, most of whom are young, which has made the 2015 hunt for the Trans Valley League title a non-issue for the Yellowjackets.
Pitman sent eight athletes and Turlock High had six representatives competing alongside students from 75 high schools at the 40th annual Stanford Invitational on Saturday.