OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but they had no idea their Valley Oak League opener would end with a 51-21 and a 64-9 loss to Ceres and Oakdale highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High trailed the Ceres Bulldogs by four heading into the intermission, but a blistering hot third quarter provided the Timberwolves with all the separation they would need in their 59-53 win over the host Bulldogs.
Manteca High's defending Valley Oak League champion boys basketball team began its title defense against visiting Oakdale Tuesday and had little trouble in dispatching the overmatched Mustangs, 55-42.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
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.
Manteca led for the first 30 minutes of its Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament semifinal against Calaveras at Riverbank High, but a poor shooting night ultimately doomed the Buffaloes in a 44-42 loss Friday.
First-year Lathrop boys soccer coach Alfredo Reynaga didn't need to look far for a program to model his after.
STOCKTON - Hunter Johnson and Josh Patton accounted for 36 points and 28 rebounds to lead Sierra to a 69-54 win over host McNair in non-league boys basketball action.
LATHROP - George Contente isn't fooling anyone.
Manteca put its talent and inexperience on display against Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament host Riverbank on Thursday.
If Sierra coach Martha Spivey learned one thing about her team through its first two games of the 2014-15 season, it's that it will fight until the final buzzer.
The only thing that could slow Sierra's roll on tuesday was the running clock in its season opener against visiting Golden Valley of Merced.
RIPON - After trailing by 11 at the end of the first quarter, Ripon battled back to within a point late in the third period but then watched Livermore go on a 15-2 run to pull away in a 50-32 win for the visiting Cowboys in non-league girls basketball action on Tuesday.
RIPON - For a game that Manteca High coach Brett Lewis called a "glorified scrimmage," it sure didn't play out like one Monday night at Ripon.
RIPON - The East Union defense was suffocating Monday night, forcing host Ripon Christian to turn the ball over 31 times in a 53-25 Lancers win in a Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation basketball game. This is the 13th year for the Foundation games which provide funding for the Section's A. Dale Lacky Scholarship program. This year, 152 games were played at 81 different sites in the section with the results not counting in the teams' records. Lathrop visited Golden Valley, while Weston Ranch took on Lincoln in doubleheaders. The Sierra girls hosted Sonora.
A trio of seniors and a sophomore represent Ripon High's volleyball team on the All-Trans-Valley League team.