Everything appeared to be in place for the East Union Lancers as they traded shots with the visiting Sonora Wildcats Wednesday night at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High knows they are flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves are not flying high after their 67-52 win over the Ceres Bulldogs keeps Sierra atop of the Valley Oak League standings after Wednesday's contests.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but they had no idea their Valley Oak League opener would end with a 51-21 and a 64-9 loss to Ceres and Oakdale highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High trailed the Ceres Bulldogs by four heading into the intermission, but a blistering hot third quarter provided the Timberwolves with all the separation they would need in their 59-53 win over the host Bulldogs.
Manteca High's defending Valley Oak League champion boys basketball team began its title defense against visiting Oakdale Tuesday and had little trouble in dispatching the overmatched Mustangs, 55-42.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
Sierra turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the second overtime Wednesday night, and Tokay's T.J. Gotelli scored six consecutive points to help the visiting Tigers pull out a wild 66-63 double-overtime victory.
LATHROP - Lathrop High's girls basketball team deserved a little break in what has been a rigged a pre-league schedule so far.
Ripon High's wrestling team earned its first dual victory of the season Wednesday, outlasting visiting Denair, 48-36.
RIPON - As the saying goes, "It's better to be lucky than to be good."
Kayla Wilson drained a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter, and that proved to be the difference in a 41-39 win for host Sierra over previously undefeated Ripon on Tuesday in non-league girls basketball action.
Just three days after beating West High in the Lodi Tournament finale, Manteca met the Wolf Pack again on Tuesday with hopes of notching its second win of the season in the team's home opener.
STOCKTON - Edison ended the first quarter on a 9-0 run Monday night over visiting Weston Ranch and carried the momentum into the second, extending that run to 16-2 on the way to a 50-40 non-league for the Vikings at Taggart Gym.
Andrew Olaya rose to the occasion on Saturday.
Weston Ranch senior A.J. Brown got into some foul trouble during first half of the Delta Queen Classic's championship game and the Cougars (4-1) came up short against Mission San Jose, 66-47.
Ripon Christian got the job done during Saturday's championship game of the Galt Tournament.
Sierra's girls basketball team didn't have any trouble during the semifinals of the Linden Tournament on Friday night.
Manteca jumped out to an early lead during the semifinal of the DBMAC/Save Mart Classic against co-host Buhach Colony High Friday evening.
The night before my last high-school football game 38 years ago, the local sportscaster said that since our season was done and our opponent was undefeated and going to the playoffs, we would only lose by 14 points.
Todd Felis hung up his glove and spikes in 2005, following one last softball tournament in Florida.
TRACY - First-year head coach Nate McGrath figured his Lathrop boys basketball team's all-too frequent bouts with lackluster play was bound to catch up soon.