WESTON RANCH – It was a big game in terms of Valley Oak League positioning, and both the Sierra and Weston Ranch played tight to start Friday night's contest.
RIPON - The wait is over.
WESTON RANCH - Sierra High's sophomore boys basketball team did well to take a 17-16 lead into halftime after scoring just two points in the opening quarter but ultimately fell to Weston Ranch 41-37 in Valley Oak League action Friday.
It wasn't senior night Thursday at the Dalben Center, but it may as well have been as Rachel McDaniel, Ashley Rose and Alyssa Wegner were lights out for the Lancers in a 66-40 win over Manteca.
The accolades keep on coming for area standouts Nick Gardner and Michael Turner, as they joined two others from the Valley Oak League on the ESPN RISE/CalHiSports.com all-state medium schools second team.
RIVERBANK – Ripon picked up its first Trans Valley League win in impressive style Thursday night, holding Riverbank to just one point in the first and five through the first half on its way to a 50-18 win.
The first round of Weston Ranch High's "Tour of Manteca" is over, but coach Chris Bauer is hoping that his Cougars' recent stretch of solid play isn't.
The Manteca High sophomore girls basketball team came to play Thursday evening at the Dalben Center, but after a slow first half, the Squires kicked it into gear and ran away with a 62-44 win.
So how does Manteca High sophomore Kiwi Gardner follow up Friday's career-best 36-point performance against Sierra?
A number of intriguing story lines came out of the Valley Oak League tri-meet between Manteca, East Union and Sierra at Sierra High Wednesday afternoon, including the continued ascension of Lancer 119-pounder Marco Castaneda, who came off his first tournament championship Saturday to take down two of the best wrestlers the VOL has to offer.
With senior center Tyler Willis done for the season after he tore an ACL Friday against Manteca, Sierra High was looking for a few players to step up and fill the large void left by the Timberwolves' second leading scorer Wednesday night at the Dalben Center.
Ryan Culpepper beat the buzzer, and his Manteca Buffaloes' sophomore boys basketball team beat upset-minded Weston Ranch as a result.
RIPON - With Ripon High returning all of its key components and Modesto Christian playing in another basketball universe, Tuesday night's Trans Valley League matchup between Ripon Christian and Riverbank projected to be a pivotal league contest in terms of league and postseason positioning.
Jim Agostini didn't want it to be about him.
WESTON RANCH - After snapping East Union's big streak, Weston Ranch is hoping to start its own.
Gerardo Romero scored two goals and assisted another in East Union's 4-1 triumph at Sierra on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch's coronation looked as if it was going to be delayed.
Manteca had two game-point opportunities in an attempt to force a fifth set against visiting Weston Ranch but came up short in a 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30-32 defeat Wednesday.
East Union won the Valley Oak League title and Brooke Riley is the MVP.
Tuesday's Trans-Valley League rematch against Ripon was sure to have been circled on Riverbank's calendar.
TRACY - The road to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs just got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team.
Kevin Bolding summed up Manteca's trip to Oakdale as a "tough night."
Sierra just missed out on having another finalist in the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament.
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.