Josh Sykes will try to defend his title as the slam dunk contest champion at the Nevada Union Tournament later this week.
The Golden Valley junior used Tuesday night as a warm-up, throwing down four rim-rattlers on his way to 11 points to help lead the Cougars to a 54-42 win over Tracy at Cougar Arena.
Sykes already has the dunk picked out he wants to try in Grass Valley.
"Last year I won it with a 360, this time I want to try a ball-between-the-legs dunk," Sykes said.
Sykes brought the crowd to its feet with three third-quarter dunks, including two alley-oops from teammates Christian Carroll and Ben Fletcher.
"I always give them a look, that's when they know to throw it," Sykes said.
"If I give them the look they know to throw it up there and I'll go get it."
Tracy (1-2) stayed close in the first half as the Cougars (4-1) took a 22-18 lead into intermission.
Golden Valley ran away with it in the third quarter with the help of a 15-2 run midway through the second quarter.
The Cougars defense stifled Tracy, limiting the Bulldogs to just one field goal for a stretch of 5 minutes, 23 seconds, in the third quarter as the Cougars opened up a 37-24 lead.
Six of Golden Valley's points during the run came on Sykes' dunks. Devon Powell also added three points.
"We did some really nice things tonight," Cougars coach Keith Hunter said. "Our defense was pretty solid. We forced them to take jump shots. We didn't give up much in the paint. Josh makes an impact in the paint with those blocked shots.
"We've still got room to improve. We didn't take care of the ball at times. Any time you're turning the ball over 25 times it's something you have to work on."
Evan Stillahn and Christian Carroll led Golden Valley with 12 points.
Atwater 56, Hilmar 32
ATWATER -- Daniel Motz drained four 3-pointers for 12 of his game-high 18 points as the Falcons (3-2) defeated the Yellowjackets. Ben Peterson and Josh Heller added 11 points for Atwater.
Modesto 58, Merced 42
MODESTO -- Cesar Martinez poured in 19 points as the Panthers upset the Bears (2-3). David Keys led Merced with 12 points. The Bears made just 13 of 47 shots in the paint.
Madera 57, Merced 54
The Coyotes outscored the Bears 26-14 in the third quarter and held on for a narrow win.
Tekerra Borden led Merced (0-2) with 17 points. Lexi Thompson added 14.