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 – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
STOCKTON - The East Union boys basketball team nearly squandered its nine-point halftime lead, holding on for a 58-57 win over Stagg in 4th Annual Bear Creek Bruin Shootout Tuesday.
RIPON - Gustine fans and coaches alike pleaded all game for their players to box out.
Ripon's girls basketball team snapped a four-game skid with a 53-41 Trans Valley League victory over Orestimba on Thursday night.
Weston Ranch is 5-0 with first-year senior Derek Gordon on the team, and he had a direct impact on the result of Thursday night's wild 54-53 overtime win at Kimball.
Another night, another blowout win for Weston Ranch's upstart girls basketball team.
Jessica Hasal drained a 3-pointer and made a steal on the ensuing Sierra possession midway through the fourth quarter Wednesday to spot Manteca to a four-point lead that would prove to be the margin of victory in a 36-32 win at Sierra High.
Despite only scoring nine second-half points Wednesday, Lathrop's girls basketball team still held off visiting Oakdale 30-28 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.
Sierra was nothing short of impressive during a 59-15 Valley Oak League victory against cross-town rival Manteca High Wednesday night.
Sierra prepares for every game the same no matter the opponent.
STOCKTON - After leading by just two points at the end of the first quarter, Weston Ranch went on a 13-1 run to start the second period Tuesday and kept visiting East Union at bay the rest of the way in a 54-41 win.
Sean Broker poured in 18 points, and Ripon Christian held off the hot-shooting Hawks of visiting Delhi for a 63-50 win in Southern League action.
Delhi's girls basketball team put up a fight against visiting Ripon Christian in the first quarter, trailing 10-6 at one point on Tuesday.
Chris Teevan has no qualms about putting the weight of Weston Ranch's rebuilding boys basketball program on the back of 5-foot-8, 150-pound sophomore Jaelen Ragsdale.
MODESTO – Lathrop's Jasmine Ivey and Sierra's Victoria Burke both took home Enochs Lady Eagles Invitational titles Saturday for each of their pooled weight brackets.
Weston Ranch has gone on a hot streak since adding a couple of players to its roster.
Sonora did enough damage in the first half to win 50-40 despite making just two field goals over the final two quarters of Friday's Valley Oak League matchup at Sierra.