The area's three remaining girls basketball teams are each one win away from qualifying for NorCals while advancing into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs semifinal round.
For the remainder of the season it is win at all costs, and that was obviously the mindset for the East Union Lancers in their 58-48 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III first-round win over Dixon High Tuesday at the Dalben Center.
Defense helped Manteca High overcome dry spells on the offensive end Tuesday in its first-round showdown with 12th-seeded Natomas in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs.
RIPON - In the end, it didn't matter that the Ripon Christian girls basketball team nearly surrendered a 20-point lead and virtually invited the visiting Victory Christian Vikings into a game they were never in.
Being the second best team in the Trans Valley League was not good enough to earn Ripon High's girls basketball team a home game in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs, and it proved costly in the Indians' 78-68 overtime loss to Linden High Tuesday.
The Sierra High girls basketball barely earned one of 16 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff berths, but getting in earned the Timberwolves a matchup with the tourney's No. 1 seed,
WESTON RANCH - The season came to crashing halt Tuesday for the Weston Ranch High girls varsity basketball team.
Even though blue-chip prospect Josiah Turner, a 6-foot-3 point guard bound for Arizona, was dismissed by the team last month, Sacramento High may still be favored to defend its Division-III crown in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
With five teams qualifying and three Manteca Unified schools hosting a first-round game, the Valley Oak League is well-represented in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs - so far.
Good news first: Sierra High's two losses to end the Valley Oak League girls basketball season last week had no effect on its postseason chances.
EL DORADO HILLS – Closing the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Wrestling tournaments with a berth into the SJS Masters meet was the primary goal, but Weston Ranch's Donnell Simms was able to take it a step further by winning the 189-pound championship on his way to the Masters.
Weston Ranch's boys basketball team was expected to contend for the Valley Oak League title this season, even with three sophomores in the starting lineup.
One team was trying to close out a frustrating season with one last quality effort.
LATHROP - J.J. Ramirez wants a commitment from his Lathrop High boys varsity basketball team.
The Ripon Indians opened the contest with a blistering start and never lost track, blasting Orestimba High 88-57 to close out the Trans Valley League boys basketball season Friday.
The Maryann Wallace Pangburn 7/8 Grade All-Star Classic will return to Sierra High this Saturday after a one-year hiatus.
When one of your best players is sick, gets in foul trouble and is double-teamed all night that could be trouble.
Tyler Graves-Kelso threw his body into the stands, his hands into the passing lanes, and more importantly, he threw a perfect strike to Marcus Montano with the game on the line.
CERES - Young, yes, but these Cougars from Weston Ranch are far from inexperienced.
Erik Scheive found space at the back-door, finishing a third-quarter lob with authority.
STOCKTON - Rosemont stifled Weston Ranch's guards early and fully controlled the tempo in Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III opener.
AUBURN - Olivia Vezaldenos gave East Union High its first lead of Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff basketball game by draining a 3-pointer with 56 seconds to play in the opening half.
Marcus Montano has scored bending free kicks at the final whistle to win soccer games.
Inconsistency on offense has plagued Ripon all season, and the 14th-seeded Indians battled through the shooting yips once again in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV opener at No. 3 West Campus.
Ripon Christian's first-round opponent?
Jim Agostini didn't recognize the number, but there was no mistaking the voice on the other end of the line.
YUBA CITY – With 5 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday and a tie score in the 285-pound consolation championship of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Wrestling Championships at River Valley High School, Manteca's Steven Martinez smothered Matt Kjeldgaard of Oakdale and slammed Kjeldgaard to the mat, landing on top of the Mustang and apparently claiming third place.
Weston Ranch hadn't lost back-to-back games all season until it dropped its final two in the Valley Oak League.
Cody Haines and David Onochie, the little big men for the Ripon boys basketball team, are playing some of their best basketball right now.
George Contente looked at West Campus and Colfax as potential opponents first round opponents for his Ripon High girls basketball team.