Closing the Valley Oak League Wrestling Championships with a title in one of the 14 weight-classes was not the only way to find success in the tournament, and that was the case for nearly all of the 35 wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament with a fourth place or better finish.
The Ripon Indians sent 10 wrestlers to the mat during the Trans Valley League Wrestling Championships, and nine of the 10 earned berths into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with top-four finishes in Saturdays league championships.
RIPON - Rod Wright isn't one to point blame at the officials.
For a brief moment even the East Union boys basketball team may have had some doubt, but trailing by 18 in the third quarter East Union responded, putting together a 65-62 come-from-behind victory Friday in Valley Oak League play.
LATHROP – In a perfect world, the Lathrop High boys basketball team tactics to stop Sierra High post presence Will Ward would have forced his teammates to toss up perimeter jumpers they couldn't knock down. On Friday that wasn't the case, as the Timberwolves' back court connected on 13 3-pointers on their way to a 67-40 Valley Oak League win.
Weston Ranch scored 31 points in the second quarter on its way to an 81-57 walloping of first-year varsity Kimball High in Tracy Friday.
Ripon Christian High's boys basketball team played for the outright championship of the Southern League Friday in Ripon, and the game offered little drama.
Briona Fontenot played a big role in jump starting the East Union offense in the second half of Thursday's much-needed 52-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball payback win over visiting Sonora Thursday.
Daylynn Penner has been dedicated to the Sierra High softball program since she stepped foot on campus nearly four years ago. Penner's dedication paid off as she was awarded a partial scholarship to attend college at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and play softball at Southwestern Oregon Community College.
Earning points for the sake of the team is a thing of the past for the wrestlers in the Valley Oak Trans Valley Leagues. For the next match, each man is wrestling for himself, wrestling in hopes of extend their season for another week.
The Lathrop High boys opened the game clicking on all cylinders, jumping out to a double-digit lead after the first quarter, but it wouldn't last, as Sierra High found its groove in the second on its way to a 44-35 Valley Oak League win Thursday.
The result shows a rather ho-hum victory for Modesto Christian's powerhouse girls basketball team, which captured a piece of its fifth straight Trans Valley League championship by downing Ripon High 76-47 at home Thursday.
East Union High boys varsity basketball coach Brett Lewis applauded the effort of his reserves Wednesday against visiting Kimball High of Tracy.
The score may have indicated that the Oakdale Mustangs were a handful of shots away from giving the Sierra Timberwolves a Valley Oak League loss they could not afford, but that was far from the case in Sierra's 60-49 win Wednesday over the Mustangs.
SONORA – The Weston Ranch High boys varsity basketball team claimed at least a share of the Valley Oak League title Wednesday thanks to a 65-56 victory at Sonora.
Chris Teevan turned the game into a chess match, just as he had promised, sending five fast-action guards at the reigning Valley Oak League champions.
Early on, East Union High kept pace with crosstown rival Buffaloes before a jam-packed crowd at Winter Gymnasium on Friday.
In his fifth season, coach Alex Nuanez has the Sierra High wrestling program trending in the right direction.
ESCALON – Aaron Paschini scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, fueling Ripon's late surge in a 53-49 victory on Friday night.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights may not have been at their best in Thursday's Trans-Valley League clash against visiting Hughson, but they did battle back after surviving an early cold spell.
STOCKTON – Weston Ranch and Lathrop could only combine for eight first-quarter points Thursday but the Cougars went on a roll the rest of the way and defeated the visiting Spartans 55-26 in Valley Oak League girls basketball action.
OAKDALE – It was about this time last year that Olivia Vezaldenos and the East Union girls basketball team began their playoff push.
HUGHSON – Ripon Christian kept its perfect Trans-Valley League record intact but may have lost a key player in the process.
LATHROP – Jaelen Ragsdale had his best performance in weeks on a night when Lathrop star Isaiah Ellis struggled just to stay on the court.
The Lathrop wrestling team swept its Valley Oak League double-dual meet with Weston Ranch and Kimball on Wednesday.
RIPON – Sean Broker burrowed down in the post, a tree standing tall above the Tribe. Austin Alger danced around the perimeter.
The Sierra High girls basketball team turned to its defense to snap a five-game losing streak.
RIPON – Physically, Ed Mulder knew Ellen Blankers would be fine following knee surgery in the spring.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian girls basketball team hasn't had much success this decade against its across-the-street neighbor.
RIPON – Rod Wright and his staff are in charge of the official book, access to the locker rooms and providing a game ball.