The week started with sobering news for the Ripon Christian boys basketball team.
LATHROP - The offensive woes continued for Lathrop on Tuesday, and matters have been made worse with the Spartans' two best players out for the rest of the season with injuries.
Manteca resident Aysia Cortez's toughest challenger in Saturday's 3rd Annual Lady Eagle Invitational was the scale.
Sierra staved off a second-half barrage to complete its season sweep of visiting Oakdale in a 50-46 Valley Oak League victory Tuesday.
Sierra proved up to the challenge in its Valley Oak League encounter with visiting Weston Ranch on Friday.
Valley Oak League-leading Sierra took Lathrop's best punch and cruised to a 65-59 victory Thursday night.
RIPON - Riverbank survived a second-half charge from Ripon and escaped with a 43-39 overtime win in a pivotal duel between the Trans-Valley League's first-place teams.
STOCKTON - East Union came prepared for a track meet but left the sprint spikes at home.
Emery Sipe's conventional 3-point play with 1.4 seconds to go lifted host Oakdale to a dramatic 39-37 win over Lathrop on Wednesday.
In a first-place battle of teams with similar strengths, experience and Hunter Johnson proved to be the difference for reigning Valley Oak League champion Sierra.
Jourdy Richter drained five 3s and scored a season-high 22 points, and the Ripon girls basketball team had its best offensive game of the season in a 66-26 thrashing of visiting Hilmar on Tuesday.
Ripon Christian boys basketball coach Ron Vander Molen employed various zone defenses with hopes of neutralizing visiting Riverbank's speed advantage in their Trans-Valley League contest Tuesday.
No one will ever accuse a Scott Thomason-led team of looking past anybody.
RIPON - Mario Roach considers Ripon an "up-and-down" team that forces a frenetic pace with defensive pressure and constant movement on offense.
Olivia Vezaldenos broke out of a recent scoring slump Friday and led East Union to a 46-38 win over visiting Lathrop at Dalben Center.
Manteca High's boys and girls swim teams both finish the year 4-4 in the Valley Oak League with wins in their regular-season finale Friday at East Union.
Errors and lost opportunities came back to haunt Sierra in its first-place showdown with Oakdale on Friday.
Lathrop High's track and field program continued its breakout season Thursday with a varsity split at Sierra, while its frosh-soph teams remain undefeated in the Valley Oak League with one meet to go.
Yok Jing Ma and Mike Lopez went out in style - and as Valley Oak League champions.
Mark Carganilla had already earned an academic scholarship and was accepted by Pacific University with an eye on the private school's popular exercise science program.
Only one goal was scored the last time the Southern League's reigning girls soccer co-champions met.
Ilena Rivera's hat trick powered East Union to a 3-0 win at Central Catholic on Wednesday, and the victory clinches a second-straight outright title in the Valley Oak League for the Lancers.
Weston Ranch junior Jordan Severin didn't know he was going to get the starting nod until about 30 minutes before throwing the first pitch in Wednesday's Valley Oak League tilt with visiting Kimball.
The East Union track and field team won at every level in a Valley Oak League dual meet with visiting Central Catholic on Wednesday.
Yok Jing Ma won't get another crack at Kimball standout Garrett Chun.
The tone was set on the first race of the day.
Central Catholic, East Union and Oakdale boast the most accomplished boys golf programs in the Valley Oak League, but the player all others are chasing represents none of those schools.
Only the clock could stop Manteca from scoring in its 9-0 victory over visiting Lathrop on Monday, but the efforts to support young Destiny Herrera is ongoing.
As a multi-sport athlete from the Central Valley who also excels in the classroom, Sierra High senior Hunter Johnson can relate to California Maritime Academy men's basketball head coach Bryan Rooney.
Ripon High senior Nick Sharp successfully defended his championship at the Tracy/West Invitational on Monday, winning a card-off with three other players who finished 1-over-par 73 at Tracy Country Club.