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.
Zach Olsen is the type of high school kid who seems to have a smile painted on his face at all times. He's also the type that will ask a stranger how he's doing - and genuinely want to know the person's well being. But the Pitman High boys basketball player will admit that he wasn't in the most ideal situation last season.
Stanislaus County dominated Merced County on Friday at the County Clash track meet, with Pitman, Oakdale and Turlock High finishing first, second and third, respectively.
Not even a car crash could keep Brian Dudley and Andrew Knapp, Denair tennis' number one and two singles players, from seeking retribution against league juggernauts Ripon Christian on Friday. The two Coyote players were involved in a head-on collision on their way to the match, but still managed to make it to the courts where they won their matches in the 7-2 effort over the Knights.
Pitman High thoroughly beat Merced High on the baseball diamond Monday afternoon in the Pride's second Central California Conference game of the season. Four days removed from beating Golden Valley High 8-0, Pitman again pitched a shutout as they handed Merced its third consecutive loss by a score of 10-0.
Things have changed in the Central California Conference this year and this week marked the beginning of a three-game series, starting with game one at Turlock High as the Bulldogs hosted the Atwater Falcons.
The Central California Conference and the Modesto Metro Conference gathered together for Saturday's Nor Cal Relay at Johansen High with Turlock and Pitman owning the day on the pool.
It was a down game for the Hilmar varsity baseball team on Saturday afternoon when they hosted Sonora High.
The Hilmar High (6-3-1) girls varsity soccer team is only two wins away from tying last year's win total and league hasn't even started.
Four consecutive errors in the sixth inning gave the Hilmar High varsity softball team its second straight Trans Valley League loss on Friday afternoon as Riverbank played the spoilers in a 3-8 loss.
Denair High came close to earning its first win of the season this week in a two-game showdown with Le Grand High on Wednesday and Friday, but late-inning slumps in both games instead led to a pair of defeats and extended the Coyote's record to 0-8.
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