Mahir Pepic may never know just how good he can be.
Ron Vander Molen expects the road to get rougher in the coming week, but for now he and the Ripon Christian boys basketball team are enjoying the ride.
East Union bounced back from its first loss of the season and will play for fifth place in the Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament today.
Ripon didn't have to wait long to exact revenge against Sierra, though both teams had to travel farther for the rematch.
For most of her first two years running for the Weston Ranch cross country team, sophomore Iris Carillo was chasing more seasoned and accomplished harriers from Manteca.
The winter break has been anything but a break for Lathrop High's wrestling program.
Rod Wright has been waiting for a game like this from his young Ripon boys basketball team.
East Union won one rematch to get to another, but it may have to go without its top player in tonight's Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament quarterfinal.
RIPON - Kristen Maestretti was rewarded for her effort.
East Union expected Bear Creek to come out winging its best punches and got exactly that in a nonleague contest at Dalben Center on Tuesday.
There were moments when East Union coach Jim Agostini had to remind himself that little, if anything, was on the line during Tuesday's reunion with Sonora at Bud Castle Gym.
Rubel Dehal and Elizabeth Tolbert had clean looks at the basket in attempts to force an overtime period, but both of their shots rimmed out in Manteca's 43-40 loss to visiting Laguna Creek on Monday.
Weston Ranch is heading to the championship game in one of the Central Section's most prestigious tournaments.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian players jumped off their seats on the sideline and joined the five Knights on the court to celebrate their clinching of the Trans-Valley League outright title Friday night.
There will be little drama in the Valley Oak and Trans-Valley leagues tonight when the regular season comes to a close for Manteca area boys and girls basketball teams.
RIPON - Ripon Christian garnered its fourth league championship in five years Friday night, but no one would blame the Knights for relishing this one a little more than the rest.
Lathrop couldn't overcome a lackluster start in a 61-44 loss to visiting Kimball on Friday.
Jim Agostini sauntered back into Winter Gymnasium alongside assistant coach Rick Marsh, and as the door closed behind them their East Union girls basketball team could be heard celebrating a much-needed 58-48 win over Manteca on Thursday.
Elisabeth Alexander found her stroke early and never lost it.
Sierra has a way of making ugly wins look good.
Sophomore guard Tre Simmons made five 3s and led all scorers with 23 points, as playoff-bound Weston Ranch rolled past visiting East Union 70-30 Wednesday.
Riverbank worked its late-game magic yet again, and it helped the Bruins garner at least a share of the Trans-Valley League title Tuesday when they edged Ripon in overtime, 44-43.
RIPON - In a Trans-Valley League tilt between two guard-oriented teams, it was the two "bigs" who made all the difference for Ripon on Tuesday.
Lathrop High's Alex Garcia and Tristan Smith of Ripon are both rated No. 3 in their respective weight classes, according to The California Wrestler's Sac-Joaquin Section rankings.
Garbage time does not apply to Sierra's boys basketball team.
Aysia Cortez and Mia Hill both went undefeated in the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Invitational held at McNair High in Stockton on Friday. They are among the six Manteca-area grapplers still in the hunt for top-five spots and a berth to the CIF State Championships.
Things just got a little more interesting in the Trans-Valley League after Ripon Christian was dealt its first conference loss Friday at Riverbank, 70-60.
Leah Manuleleua put a positive spin on what she called a "frustrating" night for herself and the Manteca girls basketball team.