Anthony Hubbard got the ball on the left wing, right in front of the Turlock High boys basketball team bench. He was about to take a shot he and his team aren't known for, all while in front of another packed Bulldog Arena crowd for Friday night's crosstown rivalry game against Pitman High.
The most important thing the Turlock High girls basketball team wanted from Thursday night's crosstown rivalry game against Pitman High was to not give in and settle. An outright Central California Conference title was on the line for the Bulldogs, who did not want anything less.
HILMAR - In order to make the playoffs for the third consecutive time, all the Hilmar High boys basketball team had to do was stop an Escalon High team that had beaten the Yellowjackets earlier in the season by double-digits.
With the third and final release of the Sac-Joaquin Section Basketball Power Ratings, the age-old sports mantra that "every game counts" is a hard-nosed reality for both Pitman High and Turlock High girls basketball teams.
Every time he's inside his school's wrestling room, Turlock High senior Fabian Garcia will look at the blue banner placed high on one of the walls. All the names of the program's past state medalists share a spot on the sign in yellow letters, with the champions distinguished in white.
At the start of the wrestling season, Denair High coach Don Helnore hoped to have champions at the Southern League Tournament, especially because the Coyotes were scheduled to host the postseason event. He had a couple wrestlers in mind who could possibly achieve the honor.
ATWATER - This year's Central California Conference wrestling championships had a festive vibe. Some wrestlers dyed their hair blonde to perhaps highlight team camaraderie, as well as the start of the postseason. Another wrestler was spotted wearing pink socks.
In the conference room at Turlock High's main office, athletic director Anthony Belew had to speak his mind to Josue Barajas, who signed his national letter of intent to play for Cal State Stanislaus men's soccer on Friday morning.
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.