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Pitman, Turlock prepare for rivalry meeting
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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.

In the latest rankings, which were released Monday, Turlock remained at No. 3 in Division I and the Pride hold down the final spot in hosting a first-round playoff game at No. 8.

“I’m really excited about ranking eighth in the power rankings,” Pitman guard Jasmine Washington said. “It’s great to see where all of our hard work has gotten us.”

The teams know that this week is big.

Both teams played on Tuesday, but Thursday’s crosstown rivalry game sits in the back of the minds of the coaches and players. That showdown is set at Pitman’s Lion’s Den at 7:15 p.m.

The game is also the regular-season finale.

“We can’t think too far ahead,” Turlock coach Salinda Mabie said. “That game has always been something that’s been in the back of our minds. We knew that third game would be tough with Merced and we know it’s going to be tough with Pitman. And dealing with the emotions of being senior night at Pitman, there’s a lot going on that night.”

For the other teams in the Turlock area, Turlock Christian girls stayed at No. 4 in Division V and Hilmar girls remained at No. 12 in Division IV.

For the boys, Turlock moved up to No. 7 in D-I and Denair dropped to No. 10 in D-V. Hilmar, however, jumped three spots to No. 17 before Tuesday’s game against Escalon.

The section will tabulate the final power rankings over the weekend with the boys and girls basketball brackets to be released on Sunday.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.