Much is at stake in the final week of the Valley Oak League girls basketball season.
Closing the Valley Oak League Wrestling Championships with a title in one of the 14 weight-classes was not the only way to find success in the tournament, and that was the case for nearly all of the 35 wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament with a fourth place or better finish.
The Ripon Indians sent 10 wrestlers to the mat during the Trans Valley League Wrestling Championships, and nine of the 10 earned berths into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with top-four finishes in Saturdays league championships.
RIPON - Rod Wright isn't one to point blame at the officials.
For a brief moment even the East Union boys basketball team may have had some doubt, but trailing by 18 in the third quarter East Union responded, putting together a 65-62 come-from-behind victory Friday in Valley Oak League play.
LATHROP – In a perfect world, the Lathrop High boys basketball team tactics to stop Sierra High post presence Will Ward would have forced his teammates to toss up perimeter jumpers they couldn't knock down. On Friday that wasn't the case, as the Timberwolves' back court connected on 13 3-pointers on their way to a 67-40 Valley Oak League win.
Weston Ranch scored 31 points in the second quarter on its way to an 81-57 walloping of first-year varsity Kimball High in Tracy Friday.
Ripon Christian High's boys basketball team played for the outright championship of the Southern League Friday in Ripon, and the game offered little drama.
Briona Fontenot played a big role in jump starting the East Union offense in the second half of Thursday's much-needed 52-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball payback win over visiting Sonora Thursday.
Daylynn Penner has been dedicated to the Sierra High softball program since she stepped foot on campus nearly four years ago. Penner's dedication paid off as she was awarded a partial scholarship to attend college at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and play softball at Southwestern Oregon Community College.
Earning points for the sake of the team is a thing of the past for the wrestlers in the Valley Oak Trans Valley Leagues. For the next match, each man is wrestling for himself, wrestling in hopes of extend their season for another week.
The Lathrop High boys opened the game clicking on all cylinders, jumping out to a double-digit lead after the first quarter, but it wouldn't last, as Sierra High found its groove in the second on its way to a 44-35 Valley Oak League win Thursday.
The result shows a rather ho-hum victory for Modesto Christian's powerhouse girls basketball team, which captured a piece of its fifth straight Trans Valley League championship by downing Ripon High 76-47 at home Thursday.
East Union High boys varsity basketball coach Brett Lewis applauded the effort of his reserves Wednesday against visiting Kimball High of Tracy.
The score may have indicated that the Oakdale Mustangs were a handful of shots away from giving the Sierra Timberwolves a Valley Oak League loss they could not afford, but that was far from the case in Sierra's 60-49 win Wednesday over the Mustangs.
George Contente looked at West Campus and Colfax as potential opponents first round opponents for his Ripon High girls basketball team.
Midway through the season, East Union was languishing in the middle of the pack, searching for a foothold in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff chase.
LATHROP – Captain Yaneli Avila is revered for her quiet leadership on the soccer field.
STOCKTON – For the Weston Ranch boys basketball team, the season will finish just as it began – on the road.
Scott Thomason broke from tradition at the start of the basketball season.
Manteca boys basketball coach Brett Lewis feels like the bounces are going the Buffaloes' way as of late.
Daniel Ruiz made five straight free throws in the final minute, 30 seconds, helping host Golden West edge previously-undefeated Sequoia 48-47 in Tuesday's thrilling Manteca Unified Student Trust small-school boys basketball championship game.
The Manteca girls basketball team's stumble to the finish line ultimately cost it a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
LATHROP - Dylan Gross scored 11 of his game-high 13 points in the second half to lead the Woodward Mustangs to a 43-36 win over the Mossdale Jaguars on Tuesday in the Manteca Unified Student Trust Large School Boys Basketball Championship at Mossdale School.
Sierra is the boys Valley Oak League basketball champion for the fourth time in as many years, and as a result of Tuesday's 84-48 thumping of visiting Lathrop the Timberwolves are a perfect 14-0 for the second time in that same stretch.
Four Ripon players were recognized on senior night Tuesday, and they had more reason to celebrate following the Indians' 36-27 triumph over Escalon.
Anand Hundal once again came up short of his first career triple-double in Manteca High's 69-37 shellacking of visiting Oakdale in a regular-season finale Tuesday.
East Union is peaking at just the right time.
RIPON - Rod Wright could sense this loss was coming.
RIPON - Ripon Christian players jumped off their seats on the sideline and joined the five Knights on the court to celebrate their clinching of the Trans-Valley League outright title Friday night.