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Sierra moves to 5th after easy wins

VOL-leading Manteca stays put at 11th in Division II power ratings

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Sierra moves to 5th after easy wins

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POSTED February 18, 2009 5:34 a.m.
Two weeks ago, Manteca’s boys basketball team hosted in-town adversary Sierra and won a 73-69 overtime thriller to take the outright lead in the race for the Valley Oak League championship.

The Buffaloes are still a game up on Sierra going into tonight’s round of VOL boys games, but the final release of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff power ratings tell a different story.

After double-digit wins over Oakdale and East Union last week, the Timberwolves improved one spot to fifth in the Division III ratings and could assure themselves two postseason home games should they claim their final VOL contests and any of the top four-seeded squads (Del Oro, Foothill, Sacramento, Whitney) fall.

Manteca also went 2-0 last week, beating defending champion Weston Ranch, 74-67, in the process. Since the section unveiled its midseason power ratings on Feb. 2, the Buffaloes fell to the 11th seed from 10 in the more competitive Division II despite winning every game.

Just how tough is Division II this year? This is where we cue the “if” game.

If Manteca opted up to Division I this season, its current rating of 5.353 would be good for No. 6. If they were in Division III, where it isn’t as deep as it has been, the Buffaloes would be sitting pretty at No. 2 behind Del Oro (6.005).

Coming off losses to Sonora (seventh in D-III) and Manteca, Weston Ranch is in danger of not making the playoffs at all. The Cougars are 14th with a 3.442 rating, and St. Mary’s of Stockton isn’t too far behind at 3.385 with the 16th and final playoff berth. Weston Ranch faces Ceres at home today, and Friday’s game at Sierra could make or break its season.

Tuesday night’s Ripon-Ripon Christian game was for second place in the Trans Valley League and playoff positioning.

Ripon Christian completed the sweep of its rivals, 56-50, and hopes to improve its current No. 5 seed in the Division V bracket, though TVL champion Modesto Christian represents its last regular-season opponent Friday.

For Ripon, it was a battle to keep its season alive.

The Indians’ bid for a postseason run may be in jeopardy after the loss, as they came in ranked 15th in Division IV.

There weren’t too many changes on the girls side.

East Union, which clinched a share of the VOL title Tuesday, jumped to sixth from seventh in Division III, Weston Ranch fell to 12th and Ripon Christian improved to 11th in Division V. Despite Tuesday’s loss to Ceres, Weston Ranch could clinch a berth by beating Sierra at home Thursday.

Manteca and Ripon are both on the bubble, with Manteca 18th in Division II and Ripon 19th in IV.
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