After a one-point second quarter, the Pitman High boys basketball players had just one logical thing left to do.
It's no secret that Turlock High senior wrestler Fabian Garcia's ultimate goal is to be a state champion. This aim is very realistic for him, since he's a three-time state medalist.
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.
Four more Pitman High athletes will soon be joining the collegiate ranks after signing letters of intent on Tuesday. Quentin Hernandez, Cristian Clementi, Gilbert Valadez and Angel Velasquez each put ink to paper in front of friends and family for their individual colleges as Hernandez signed on to play football for George Fox University in Oregon and Clementi, Valadez and Velasquez signed on to wrestle for Grand Canyon University in Arizona, Luther College in Iowa and Northern Illinois University, respectively.
Turlock High girls soccer owned the 2015 season as far as the Central California Conference was concerned, edging out Merced High in a tight race for first place en route to the Bulldogs' fourth consecutive league championship. That momentum was put to a halt immediately in the post season, however, when Turlock traveled to Bella Vista High on Tuesday for the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Tournament.
Local golfers represented their schools well at CIF Sac-Joaquin Divisional Tournaments on Monday, with Turlock Christian placing third in the Division VI tournament and Turlock High taking fourth in Division I competition. Hilmar's Landon Azevedo, Turlock's Logan Adams and Turlock Christian High's Logun Lundquist will all advance to the Master's level after notching qualifying scores in their respective tournaments.
Monday marked the start of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for local high school tennis teams that included Delhi, Denair, Pitman and Turlock High. All but Turlock fell in the opening round after the Bulldogs edged out the visiting Folsom Bulldogs, 6-3, on Tuesday in a comeback victory.
Denair High tennis head coach Bill Weber has his sights set on a long and prosperous future the Coyote program and he is off to a good start. After Friday's Southern Athletic League tournament, Denair can boast two league winners in the mixed doubles and the boys singles brackets.
Turlock High won the final game of its three-game series with rival Pitman High Friday afternoon, beating the Pride 8-3 after falling 0-7 on Tuesday and 5-6 on Thursday. But while Pitman walked away from Turlock's home field in the loser's column on Friday, its boys exited the week as winners, at least partially, of the Central California Conference with only one win needed to claim the outright championship.
A local face will be taking over the Denair High School football head coaching duties.
Hilmar High's Jacob Ahid has been a small-town, valley boy all his life. He's developed as a baseball player from child to adolescent, but for the next step in his baseball career Ahid will be leaving Hilmar and heading to Seaside where he will become the newest addition to California State University, Monterey Bay.
The Hilmar High boys varsity golf team failed to pick up a Trans Valley League championship this past Monday at La Contenta Golf Course.
Pitman, which has been neck and neck with Merced all season long, placed second for both the girls and boys in the Central California Conference Championship meet that took place at Golden Valley High on Saturday to finish just behind Merced in the CCC.
Turlock High's Ryan Asai went into Tuesday's Central California Conference singles tournament with high hopes. The Bulldog boasted an undefeated record heading into the tournament, but met his match in Merced's Juan Ciudad in the semifinal round.
The Turlock High boys varsity golf team has won its fourth Central California Conference tournament in the last five years after edging out Pitman and Buhach on Monday at the Merced Country Club.
It was a defensive deadlock for the majority of Tuesday's cross-town showdown between Turlock and Pitman High. After four innings of solid pitching from the Bulldogs' Nick Avila and Pride's Nick Jones, the scoreboard read 0-0 and everyone was left questioning, who would falter first?
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