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.
Marcus Montano and the Manteca boys basketball team couldn't make a shot in the first quarter.
Sierra can now center its focus on the big games to come after steamrolling Kimball 59-38 on Thursday.
Ripon coach George Contente tested his team with a rugged schedule in the first month of the season, and it paid off in the Indians' Trans-Valley League opener Thursday.
Jessica Pablo missed East Union's final six pre-league contests after rolling an ankle in a game at Sonora.
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.
MODESTO - Central Catholic coach Mike Wilson had three different players match up with Joshua Patton, Sierra's 6-foot-8 standout heading to Sacramento State.
Hard-luck Ripon suffered its fourth loss in five games Tuesday, as a layup to tie it in the end was off the mark in a 49-47 loss to Hughson.
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.