Rob Martinez was in a bit of a funk.
The junior guard had experienced his share of good moments early in the nonconference season, but his play had lacked the consistency both he and the Golden Valley coaching staff expected.
A three-point performance in a 70-52 first-round victory over Rosemont at the Cesar Chavez Tournament did little to rejuvenate his confidence.
But little cures what ails you in basketball like a game-winning shot, and that certainly seemed to do the trick for Martinez over the weekend.
With the semifinal against Cordova tied in the final seconds, Martinez stepped up and drained a game-winning 3-pointer.
He finished the game with a team-high 19 points and then turned in an equally impressive 21-point effort against Tokay in the championship game to lead the Cougars to the title.
Martinez was named the tournament MVP and senior center Garrett Hill was named to the all-tournament team. Hill finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in the final -- his first action since undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
The victory over Tokay makes seven straight for Golden Valley since an opening-night collapse against West.
It's a streak with a real possibility of extending into the new year as Hill works himself back into game shape. Hill's return helped solidify the team.
"I think having a third-year senior back was huge for us," Hunter said. "(Hill's) rebounding and ability to score inside really anchors us and makes everyone else's job easier.
"You're always pleased to win a tournament, but moving forward, we really need to focus on getting our level of play more consistent from game to game."
Jason Boesch knows all about a lack of consistency.
The first-year Atwater boys coach has experienced more than his share with the Falcons to start the season.
Last weekend may have marked a turning point for Boesch and company, however.
Atwater (5-4) swept all three of its games in the round-robin Patterson Tournament to capture the title.
The Falcons defeated Galt 63-52 in what proved to be the championship game.
Atwater's Danny Martinez was named the tournament MVP and Brian Royal made the all-tournament team.
"We've been on the kids about having fun no matter what's going on, and I think they finally did that," Boesch said. "We hit big shots when we needed to and hit free throws when we needed to. I was very proud of the effort."
The Golden Valley wrestling team continued its great start to the season by capturing the inaugural Morning Star Invitational title in Los Banos last weekend.
Chopper Mello's squad won the tournament by 89 points over rival Buhach Colony and had six individual champions.
The win gives the Cougars a pair of championships and one second-place finish in three tournaments to start the year.
It was almost a perfect weekend for the Atwater basketball programs, with the girls team up late in the fourth quarter in the Ceres Lions Club Women's Tournament championship game against Bret Harte.
With their destiny in their own hands at the charity stripe, the Falcons came up empty. Atwater went 0 for 7 from the free-throw line in the final minute and Bret Harte made it pay with a last-second basket to pull out a 45-44 victory.
Despite the loss, Atwater's Amber Gutierrez earned tournament MVP.