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.
With the Valley Oak League championship already annexed by Manteca High's girls basketball team, the buzz surrounding its anticipated regular-season showdown with rival East Union took a little bit of a hit.
WESTON RANCH - With Sac-Joaquin Section postseason positioning at stake, intensity was not a problem for Weston Ranch and Sierra's girls basketball teams Thursday in their Valley Oak League finale.
RIPON - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
Sharon Washington leapt off the bench with a smile plastered on her face.
Amaiya Guyton and Jaysen Reindel of the Lancer Youth Wrestling Club earned medals at the Flo Reno Worlds Championships last weekend at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Ripon Christian survived its toughest challenge of the Southern League so far on Friday, warding off Orestimba 1-0 in Newman thanks to some fortunate bounces.
East Union and Lathrop split in the Valley Oak League clash.
It pays to listen to your coach.
The Lathrop High boys golf team hit a milestone in its brief history on Thursday, clinching a spot in the Valley Oak League Championships for the first time with its 223-257 over Manteca at French Camp Golf Course.
The Ripon High Indians again fell to Hughson, losing 12-2 in six innings to the Trans Valley League leaders on Thursday.
Ripon High soccer head coach Jamie DeBruyn wanted more, but one goal was all that was needed for his Indians to topple Hilmar 1-0 and pad their in the Trans-Valley League standings Thursday at Stouffer Field.
Ripon Christian hadn't given up a goal in Southern League play until Tuesday.
The Lathrop track and field team continued its breakout campaign Thursday, beating visiting Oakdale at three of the four levels.
Neither Joshua Patton nor Hunter Johnson knows what the future holds.
Lathrop's Keenan Donatelli pitched an outstanding game for six innings Wednesday against host East Union, but things fell apart in the seventh inning of the Valley Oak League contest at Agostini Field.
Manteca busted out of its recent scoring slump Wednesday with a 5-2 victory at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, and with four regular-season contests remaining it's a safe bet that the prolific Buffaloes will break the 100-goal mark for the first time in program history.
When Miranda McDonnell joined Ripon Aquatics less than two years ago, she sat down with coach Erik Zador and spoke candidly about her goals.
While it's still early in the Valley Oak League race, the Sierra High Timberwolves share the top spot with Oakdale.
A fifth straight Trans-Valley League title may now be out of reach for Ripon High's boys golf team, but coach Chris Musseman has his players' focused train on an even larger prize.