The parity in the Valley Oak League has made for an exciting season for boys and girls basketball, but it also has several teams scrapping for postseason berths according to the first release of the Sac-Joaquin Section's playoff power ratings.
It's all about control for East Union High's girls basketball team these days.
TURLOCK - East Union High's varsity wrestling team brought just four competitors at Pitman High's 5th Annual Rumble in the Jungle Saturday, but all four produced noteworthy results.
CERES - A loss at Central Valley would have been disastrous to the East Union boys basketball team's postseason hopes, and they were a few big plays, from emerging junior Robert Vaughn, away from letting that happen.
Alison Telles scored 16 of her 21 points to highlight East Union's 50-28 sophomore girls basketball victory at rival Sierra Monday.
LATHROP – By the time Lathrop High's girls varsity basketball team found a handle on its Valley Oak League contest with Oakdale High, the Mustangs were in the midst of an 18-2 run and easily on their way to a 51-28 win over the Spartans Saturday.
HANFORD – A handful of area wrestlers made their way south to compete in the California Girls Wrestling Invitational at Hanford West High just outside of Fresno. The tournament is the final tune-up for the Sac-Joaquin Women's Masters Tournament taking place Feb. 5-6 in Stockton.
RIPON – Ripon High piqued the crowds' anxiety to maximum heights when Andy Bunting pulled the Indians to within three on a layup after a steal with 1:23 remaining, but that would be as close as crosstown host Ripon Christian would have it in its 52-47 Trans Valley League Friday.
A telling statistical category for Sierra High's boys basketball team this season is points allowed.
SONORA - Sonora torched undersized East Union in the post in its 81-67 win on Jan. 6.
The Sierra High boys sophomore basketball team entered the fourth quarter trailing by four points, but a dominant final period lifted the Timberwolves to a comfortable 59-51 Valley Oak League win over the visiting Ceres Bulldogs.
RIPON - It took 7 minutes, 34 seconds for Ripon High's girls basketball team to sink its first field goal Thursday - a jumper from the right elbow off the fingertips of Adrianna Mayberry.
Sierra High's football team reached unprecedented heights last fall and was rewarded for it.
Trailing by double digits going into halftime provided the Sonora Wildcats with all the motivation they would need, mounting a ferocious comeback only to fall to the host East Union Lancers 47-42 in Valley Oak League girls basketball play Thursday.
Sierra sophomore Josh Spooner crossed the finish line and aggressively pumped his fists in celebration Saturday at the Tom Moore Relays at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Jasmine Basuil made a veteran-like save during Saturday's penalty-kick shootout against Valley Oak League rival Oakdale at Guss Schmeidt Field.
Lathrop High's baseball team hosted a two-day, four-team jamboree and came away with its first win of 2014. The Spartans held off Ripon 6-4 in their morning game Saturday but came up short against Edison, 3-1.
Despite Sierra giving undefeated Atwater a run for its money Friday, the Timberwolves (1-2) weren't able to shake a three-run deficit with just three outs to go despite putting two runners on with no one out.
After weeks of evaluation, East Union soccer coach Victor Polanco says he has selected his starting 11 for next week's Valley Oak League opener.
Lucas Vaughn struck out the first five batters he faced and was a pitch away from a five-inning perfect game in Manteca's 10-0 drubbing of visiting Modesto Christian.
Manteca High's girls soccer team coasted into the semifinal round of its own Buffalo Cup tournament with Friday's 8-0 rout of Riverbank.
East Union registered its first wins of the season Friday in the Ted Yoneda Tournament at Arnaiz Stadium in Stockton.
Manteca High's boys tennis team competed well despite missing two of its top players in the opening day of the California Classic held at various sites in the Fresno area.
There were moments of brilliance and keep-away possession – the hallmarks of the Sierra girls soccer program.
RIPON – Ripon Christian sophomore Travis Zuidervaart had the Indians' lineup baffled Thursday.
Scheduling conflicts and other factors forced Manteca High girls soccer coach Justin Coenenberg to shrink the Buffalo Cup tournament field back down to eight.
The East Union boys tennis team showed little rust in its first Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday, downing visiting Oakdale, 7-2.
East Union's rebuilding boys golf team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Oakdale Golf & Country Club on Thursday, falling to host Oakdale High, 250-251.
East Union had one run taken away and gift wrapped another for Tracy in a 2-1 eight-inning loss at Agostini Field on Wednesday.