There is much more than bragging rights riding on Thursday's rubber match with rival East Union.
Manteca High's boys basketball team stretched its first-place lead while clinching its second straight Valley Oak League championship by beating second-place Sierra 66-49 Friday, but that did not improve its position on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff power ratings.
RIPON - Ripon Christian had the right guy at the right spot with the game still on the line with 3 seconds left against host Ripon.
RIPON – Ripon Christian's varsity girls basketball team fought off every blowout attempt that visiting rival Ripon threw its way, yet the Knights could not fight off their second Trans Valley League loss to the Indians in a 60-46 defeat Tuesday.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans had one last opportunity to record their one and only win of the Valley Oak League season, but even a valiant fourth quarter effort could not help Lathrop earn its first victory in a season-ending 52-48 loss to East Union Tuesday.
Even with the Valley Oak League sophomore girls basketball title already wrapped up, Sonora High wants to close its season on a high note.
WESTON RANCH - East Union High heavyweight Devon Woodall's goals moving forward are simple.
Despite a relatively close halftime score, Weston Ranch-based George Komure School went to work in the second half of the Manteca Unified Student Trust championship boys championship basketball game, rolling to a 43-31 victory over Shasta School Friday at Sierra High.
Ernie Pimentel was the last of the Manteca High boys basketball players to hop off the ladder with a piece of history in hand.
East Union High's boys basketball team kept its slim postseason hopes alive Friday with a 60-53 victory over Central Valley on homecoming night.
LATHROP - Ripon High's boys basketball team did well to make it a game for a half, but Modesto Christian had too much in its arsenal for the Indians to keep up for the long haul.
Wayne Cheung single-handedly outscored Central Valley in East Union High's 58-30 homecoming victory Friday in sophomore boys basketball action.
Sharon Washington hit the big shot to help Manteca High's girls basketball team beat Sierra the first time the two teams met, and she was at it again Thursday in the Valley Oak League rematch with postseason berths on the line for both squads.
Manteca resident and St. Mary's High girls basketball star Chelsea Gray has garnered nationwide attention and the accolades that come with it, but the latest tops them all.
RIPON -Hilmar had the look of a team that had been there, done that in tight situations.
Weston Ranch clinched a second straight postseason berth with Monday's resounding 7-1 victory at Lathrop.
That stunning loss to Orestimba appears to be in the rear-view mirror for Ripon Christian.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.
Ripon Christian's boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.