Before her team even began league play, Turlock High girls basketball coach Salinda Mabie said the Bulldogs' undefeated streak in the Central California Conference was in jeopardy. It was a bold statement, but also a logical one.
At last weekend's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament for girls wrestling, several of the coaches and wrestlers at the event stopped and watched Turlock High junior Alexia Moreno in action. It's unusual for anyone to get this kind of superstar treatment, but people in the high school wrestling community seem to think she's different.
Held at Fitzpatrick Arena on the Cal State Stanislaus campus, the annual Denair-Turlock Christian basketball rivalry and homecoming games attracted hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of fans on Friday night. Those in attendance got to see the Turlock Christian girls team, thanks to a game-high 18 points from Kaisa Spycher and 38-6 halftime lead, beat the Denair girls 57-15. On the boys side, Clayton McDonald posted a rare triple-double (19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals) to lead Denair to a 72-54 win over the TC boys.
Despite going on respective winning streaks, a number of high school basketball teams in the Turlock area slipped down a spot or two in this week's Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings that determine playoff positions for the top 16 teams in each division, with the top eight to host the first round.
While the nation's best high school football players made a spectacle of their signings with their respective colleges in front of TV cameras, news reporters and an ESPN audience, one Denair High athlete did it quietly.
In front of thousands of fans in one of the city's most anticipated boys basketball games, Anthony Hubbard became a legend, as well as a baseball prospect. In a can't-believe-he-did-that moment, the Turlock High senior guard nailed a full-court shot to end the third quarter.
When the Turlock High girls gym is packed with screaming fans, the place can feel like a coliseum with the bleachers rising well above the floor. So just imagine being one of the wrestlers in Wednesday night's crosstown rivalry dual matchup between Pitman High and Turlock High, with both teams fighting for a share of the Central California Conference title.
Simply, the shots weren't falling. Some of them were high-percentage shots, the kind that the Turlock High girls basketball players see during warm-up drills. So coach Salinda Mabie supplied a simple message for her Bulldogs.
At best, Turlock High coach Doug Cornfoot thought his boys basketball team could be a No. 12 or 13 seed in the playoffs. That's because, he said, "there are so many good teams in Division I this year."
Hannah Gong of Turlock High girls golf placed first at the 17th River Oaks Junior Match Play Championships at the River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres after outlasting Julian Salazar of Johansen High 6-4 in the finals.