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Playoffs begin for area high school hoops
playoff preveiw pic
Turlocks Devan Bains heads for the hoop after receiving a pass from teammate Demsen McFadden during a regular season game against Buhach Colony. Turlock begins their playoff run tonight against Stagg High. - photo by Journal file photo

The regular season for prep basketball is over, but four local teams have yet to turn in their uniforms as their time on the court will continue into the post-season.

The Central California Conference will be represented in the Division I Boys Basketball Tournament by Turlock High while the girls of Hilmar High will represent the Trans Valley League in the Division IV Girls Basketball Tournament. As for the Southern Athletic League, it will be represented by both the girls and boys of Turlock Christian High in their respective Division VI Tournaments.

Turlock vs. Stagg (Boys)

The playoffs officially start tonight with the Turlock’s home game against Stagg High in the Division I out-bracket game. After finishing 3rd in the CCC, the Bulldogs (6-4 CCC, 18-9 Overall) enter the tournament as the 16th seed. Their opponents, the Delta Knights, enter the tournament as the 17th seed despite finishing in 4th place in the Tri-City Athletic League standings.

Tonight’s matchup will see a talented Turlock offense take on a strong Stagg defense. The Bulldogs will rely on the leadership of senior Kenny Fraser and the scoring abilities of juniors Demsen McFadden and Devan Bains, as well as key contributions from senior Sean Downs and junior Travis Cook.

TC vs. Stockton Christian (Girls)

The Lady Eagles (10-4 CCC, 18-9 Overall) find themselves in a familiar position as they again earn a spot in the post-season. As the third seed in the Division VI tournament, TC will face 6th seed Stockton Christian High in what is essentially a first-round, quarterfinal matchup. The Eagles of Stockton (13-1 MVL, 15-10 Overall) enter the tournament as the Mountain Valley League champions and will lean on the sophomore tandem of Taylor Martin and Jayla Patzer to put down TC.

TC, the third place team in the SAL, has relied on its defense through the regular season and Tuesday’s home match will be no different. Expect sophomores Cassie Balswick and McCalister Russell and junior Victoria Vieira to be the de-facto leaders for the Eagles of Turlock.

Hilmar @ Bradshaw Christian (Girls)

This past season was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the Lady ‘Jackets (5-7 TVL, 11-13 Overall) resulting in a postseason berth. Sitting in the 13th seed of the Division IV Tournament, Hilmar will visit Bradshaw Christian to take on the Pride in the first-round of playoffs. The Pride of Sacramento (12-0 SDL, 16-6 Overall) enter as the Sierra Delta League champs and will rely heavily on juniors Erika Bean and Jordyn Bell, who both average over 17.8 points per game.

There is no question that the defense of the ‘Jackets is what has led the squad into a postseason. The leaders for the ‘Jackets on both sides will consist of Val Ewing, Dominique Miranda, Kinsey Pettigrew, Angelique Souza, and Cookie Cruz.

TC vs. Stockton Christian (Boys)

The Turlock Christian (10-4 SAL, 18-9 Overall) team of 2013-14 is one to remember for the Eagles, who finished third in the Southern Athletic League to earn its second consecutive trip to the Division VI tournament. Sitting with the number three seed, the Eagles will host 6th seed Stockton Christian High (10-4 MVL, 16-11 Overall) who finished third in the Mountain Valley League and will be led by the 6-foot-8 sophomore Cameron Pieters who is averaging 23.4 points per game.

TC managed to put up the most points in the Southern Athletic League, but they also surrendered the most points through the year. The ability to put up points has been easy for a team that has over 10 players standing above 6-foot-1 along with the strong presence from the guard position led by Josh Wright. The game is set for Wednesday night starting at 7 p.m. as TC will host the game at the Calvary Baptist Church.