High School Sports

State titles, playoff chances on the line for Modesto-area basketball, soccer teams

Three Modesto-area sports teams will take the court — and field — on Saturday for big stakes.

In Hilmar at 3 p.m., the Yellowjackets boys soccer team will play Mission of San Francisco in the CIF State Division V championship game.

In Turlock at 5:30 p.m., the Stanislaus State women’s basketball team will play Cal State Dominguez Hills with a slim chance to qualify for the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

In Albany, just north of Berkeley, the Modesto Christian boys basketball team will face off with Salesian in the semifinals of the CIF Northern California Open Division Regionals.

Hilmar (18-6-2) faces a third-seeded Mission team that won the San Francisco Section and advanced to the state title game with a 2-1 victory over Oakland Tech.

The Bears’ Julio Gonzalez Ponce — a candidate for San Francisco boys player of the year — scored twice in the second half against Oakland Tech as Mission improved to 16-1-2.

“Everyone’s excited but we still need to focus,” Mission coach Jose Mendoza Jr. told the San Francisco Examiner. “Our players have had a lot on their plate this week, from the City championship on Saturday to the last 24 hours. But we’ll try our best to win it all for everyone.”

The Warriors women’s basketball team, meanwhile, needs a victory to get to 9-13 in CCAA play, and then will see how the rest of the night plays out for a close-bunched group of teams essentially vying for the conference’s final three spots in the postseason tournament that starts next week in Hayward.

Facing a must-win game on Thursday, the Warriors (9-16, 8-13) beat Cal State Los Angeles 66-54 behind a game-high 15 points from Kyanna Davis. Cal State Dominguez Hills is 13-14, 9-12.

In the final big game of the day, Modesto Christian will face top-ranked and undefeated Salesian of Richmond in a seminal to be played at Albany High. Salesian beat Modesto Christian 61-56 in overtime at the Valley Christian High tournament in San Jose in December.

Editor Brian Clark has worked at The Modesto Bee since 1990. He’s worked in various departments, including sports, news and on the digital side for a decade before being promoted to editor in 2018. He’s a native of Berkeley and a graduate of San Diego State University. Prior to The Bee, Brian worked at the Turlock Journal and Las Vegas Review-Journal.