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.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
Ripon's Tristan Smith and Lathrop's Alex Garcia both finished fourth Saturday in the two-day Tim Brown Memorial Wrestling Tournament at the Jackson Sports Complex in McClellan.
Destiny Flores made two steals in the game's final 30 seconds Saturday to cap off a tremendous East Union comeback and help give the Lancers a thrilling 47-43 win over Ripon in the 5th Annual Hoops for the Cure Classic at Dalben Center.
Lathrop trimmed a 10-point second quarter deficit to three points with 55 seconds left to go in the first half Saturday but three quick Spartans turnovers led to a 12-point halftime lead for host Manteca in a 61-51 Valley Oak League boys basketball win for the Buffaloes at Winter Gymnasium.
Sierra proved up to the challenge in its Valley Oak League encounter with visiting Weston Ranch on Friday.
Manteca's Loretta Kakala could feel the anxiety building before the start of Friday's game.
RIPON - The Ripon Christian High expected a tough fight from visiting Escalon on Friday.
Valley Oak League-leading Sierra took Lathrop's best punch and cruised to a 65-59 victory Thursday night.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch High orchestrated a 17-0 run in the second quarter while rolling past Kimball Thursday, 74-51.
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.
Loretta Kakala and the Manteca High girls basketball team dispatched one rival and appear ready for another.
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.
Sierra's wrestling team had a good showing at Central Catholic in a Valley Oak League double-dual meet Wednesday but settled for a split. The Timberwolves first topped Lathrop 51-27 before coming up short against the host Raiders, 48-30.
All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year Brooke Riley has committed to Northwestern, one of the top Division I women's golf programs in the nation.
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.