State

Girls at Ceres go pink

Phil de la Porte Gymnasium at Ceres High was filled with a crowd wearing a different color than the school's red and white on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs filled the gym with fans wearing pink, then the girls basketball team showed its pink uniforms, all for "Pink Week," to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

"The officials wore pink and black stripes, and we wore pink shirts," said Ceres coach Shawna Nunes. "We got a lot of positive feedback from the community, including a number of breast cancer survivors who were in the stands."

Ceres won the game as well, 62-42 over Weston Ranch. Jode Johnson had a season-high 26 points to go with nine rebounds. Jamie Beck (18 points, 17 rebounds) and Aimee Gunzenhauser (14 points, 17 rebounds) each had double-doubles.

In all, it was a pretty big night for Ceres girls basketball.

"It was very nice," Nunes said. "And it establishes a fantastic tradition for Ceres."

Sonora High boys basketball coach Rick Francis hit a big milestone earlier this year, when he saw his Wildcats win their 600th game under his tutelage.

Friday night, the Valley Oak League regular season comes to a close, and Francis will be subjected to a roast for charity -- the "Franny Fry" -- after Sonora's game against rival Oakdale at Columbia College's Oak Pavilion.

The game is called the "Sonora High School All Athlete Game," and all former Sonora High athletes are invited to a reception at 5 p.m. at the pavilion. And after Friday's game, a traditional roast of Francis -- the top 10 bidders will have the honor -- will be held at the Sonora Elks Lodge.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. The proceeds will benefit Sonora's Trek for the Track, a fund-raising effort to furnish Dunlavy Field with new lights and an all-weather track.

Longtime area coach Orville Young, who passed away last week, left an impact on hundreds of former players, said Livingston athletic director Angelo Naldi.

Young primarily coached football, but he also spent some of his 33 years coaching baseball and basketball.

"I have some very fond memories of Coach Young," Naldi said. "His teams were always prepared and his ethic of 'hard work will pay off' was a big part of his philosophy."

Naldi, the boys basketball coach, and Livingston baseball coach Matt Winton were both coached by Young.

"He saw the bigger picture of high school sports," Naldi said. "The values that could be taught along with playing the game that would help us later in life.

"He touched many lives and helped many kids."

The wrestling postseason continues this weekend with the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Championships, the second step of the four-stage process that ends at the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield.

The Division I South championships will be held at Turlock, with finals scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The Division IV championships, which includes teams from the Valley Oak League, is at Whitney High of Rocklin. The Division V championships, which includes the smallest schools to have wrestling programs, is at Lindhurst of Olivehurst.

The Sac-Joaquin Section basketball playoff brackets are scheduled to be released Sunday afternoon. The playoffs begin next week, with girls basketball games dominating the schedule Tuesday and Thursday. The opening rounds of the boys games will be Wednesday and Friday.

Will DeBoard's high schools column appears Thursdays. E-mail him at wdeboard@modbee.com, write him at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, CA 95352-5256, call 578-2300 or fax 238-4551.

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