I didn’t know what to expect out of this year’s basketball season; before December I hadn’t watched a high school basketball game for at least four years. I did know that Turlock and Pitman would be in constant competition with each other for bragging rights and that Turlock, as defending CCC champions, would be the team to beat.
As I spoke with coaches from both teams before the season began, I got the impression that Turlock had a slight advantage over Pitman in terms of experience and skill.
Now, a week away from the start of league play, I believe the playing field is much more even and that this year’s CCC title is just as attainable for Pitman as it is for Turlock.
In the third round of the Frank Godinez Tournament the two teams had the opportunity to play and test each other. The matchup was a nail biter with last second lead changes and theatrics that one would expect from a Turlock-Pitman game. In the end Pitman won by a free throw, 39-38.
The game could have gone either way and was, in my opinion, a microcosm of what this year’s season will be. After 12 games, Pitman has begun to come together as a team and has developed a formidable defensive unit.
Turlock, on the other hand, has been able to come together and create offensive chemistry among their team in only eight games. Even with both teams’ improvements, however, inconsistencies still persist.
The question for this season is what Bulldog or Pride team will show up for any given game. Can Pitman’s offense minimize turnovers and compliment its defense? Will Turlock’s defense avoid costly mistakes and hold up long enough to secure a win?
These questions will be answered soon enough when league competition gets under way. The Bulldogs will face Buhach Colony High and the Pride will face Merced High on Jan. 4. These games will be the beginning of a four-way race between Turlock, Pitman, Buhach and Golden Valley High for the CCC championship.
To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.