Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
TUOLOMNE - They call it the great equalizer.
DAVIS - Ripon Christian had not lost a postseason game, let alone a match, leading up to its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship-round meeting against top-seeded Bradshaw Christian.
DAVIS - Ripon has proven time and again that it can beat Christian Brothers.
Eric Reis is a fan of the Sac-Joaquin Section's new playoff format.
Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Weston Ranch is heading to the championship game in one of the Central Section's most prestigious tournaments.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian may no longer be in the Southern League for basketball, but its growing rivalry with Mariposa lives on.
TRACY - Ryan Tarr had seen enough.
TRACY - With four reserves checking in at the scorer's table, Lathrop coach Nathan McGrath left them with one simple message:
Unhappy with his team's defensive effort in its last outing, Manteca coach Brett Lewis challenged the Buffaloes tighten things up for their first-round contest with Merced in the Running with the Pack Tournament held at Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove on Thursday.
East Union withstood a tremendous rally by visiting Ripon in the final minute, but the Indians couldn't take advantage of the extra chances created by five rebounds.
FRESNO – Jaelen Ragsdale scored 25 points to lead four players in double figures as the Weston Ranch boys basketball team cruised to victory in the opening round of the Holiday Invitational Tournament.
East Union blew out its first four opponents by 20 or more points, including a 53-25 shelling of Ripon Christian in a Foundation Game.
In time, the Manteca High basketball team may compete with the big boys of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Devin Nunez knows how to slam a door.
They may be young, but the Manteca Buffaloes are proving to be fast learners.
STOCKTON - The fall from grace has been sudden and swift for the Lathrop boys basketball team, but coach Nate McGrath can see the potential in all the losses.
LATHROP - Gurveen Bal hit a 3-pointer in the middle of a 14-0 second-quarter run to give the Lathrop girls basketball team the lead for good in a 34-31 win over Chavez-Stockton on Monday.