Weston Ranch's girls basketball team officially clinched a playoff berth for a sixth straight year Tuesday night with a 67-40 rout at Manteca, but the Cougars are looking to raise the bar for the program.
The Lathrop High girls basketball team doesn't have a playoff run to look forward to, but it isn't going out without a fight.
At this point last year and the 23 before that, coaches were busy crunching numbers to see where their teams could potentially land in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch was able to limit Manteca High center Michael Hatfield this time around, but the Cougars had no answer for the Buffaloes' two best guards.
Lathrop trailed by as much as 10 in the third quarter at Sonora but came back to squeak out a well-earned 64-58 victory Friday night.
East Union's girls basketball team was making it a habit to start games sluggishly this season.
Senior night did little to distract Weston Ranch's girls basketball team Thursday night.
Ripon has been competitive for most of the season but doesn't have the wins to show it.
Ben Juarez knocked down a jump shot to give Kimball its first lead in the second half with 22 seconds left in Wednesday's crucial Valley Oak League contest at Manteca High's Winter Gym.
STOCKTON - With no true post players on his team, Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer has challenged the two tallest to be more of a presence in the paint.
Not this time.
The Ripon Christian boys basketball team overcame Turlock Christian's considerable size advantage for a second time with Tuesday's commanding 64-51 triumph.
RIPON - Amber Hilvers searched for the words, trying her hardest not to sound disrespectful.
Gary Kron has been part of East Union High's greatest highlights and achievements on the basketball court.
In a game that featured a head-to-head showdown between the Valley Oak League's two best senior post players, it was the guards who made the difference.
The rain did little to slow Sierra's girls soccer team on Tueseday.
Six standouts representing the Manteca Futbol Club are being recognized for their talents off the pitch as well as on it.
The area's two best high school girls wrestlers competed against some of the best in the nation this past weekend and came away with All-America honors.
Ripon's boys and girls swim teams won all but two races at East Union on Friday, but the host Lancers were able to make things interesting with their superior depth.
STOCKTON - Allie Walljasper struck out 14 in six innings, Julie Deanda and Maddie Penner each rapped two-run hits and Devi Coglio legged out a home run in Sierra's 8-0 win at Weston Ranch on Friday.
Manteca has finally broken though against Kimball, already a Valley Oak League powerhouse in just its fourth season as a varsity club.
Ripon won four out of the five doubles matches at Riverbank and returned home with a 5-4 victory and their perfect Trans-Valley League record still intact.
East Union showed no ill effects from a lineup change in Wednesday's 8-1 Valley Oak League victory at Sierra, claiming all but the No. 3 doubles match.
One streak has ended while another continues for Sierra.
Things are looking up for East Union with the return of Nick Roundsville to the roster.
It was a tighter meet than Rick Cuevas had anticipated, but the end result was more or less what Manteca High's first-year track and field coach expected.
The Sierra High boys and girls swim teams improved to 2-0 in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday after topping crosstown rival East Union. The boys won 95-74, while the girls triumphed handily, 114-55.
Matt Rose edged out Justin Morrish by a stroke for low-medalist honors, but the team scores weren't as close.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
Defending champion Kimball proved to be the team to beat once again in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday, but the gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the field doesn't appear to be as wide as it was in 2013.