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.
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 - This night belonged to the Ripon High Indians.
Elisabeth Alexander found her stroke early and never lost it.
Sierra has a way of making ugly wins look good.
Rena Dragony emerged from a scrum beneath the basket with a smile and her pinkies pointed to the sky.
Sophomore guard Tre Simmons made five 3s and led all scorers with 23 points, as playoff-bound Weston Ranch rolled past visiting East Union 70-30 Wednesday.
With about six minutes left in the third quarter, Jim Agostini called a timeout and did something he rarely ever does.
STOCKTON - What a difference 10 minutes can make.
Riverbank worked its late-game magic yet again, and it helped the Bruins garner at least a share of the Trans-Valley League title Tuesday when they edged Ripon in overtime, 44-43.
RIPON - In a Trans-Valley League tilt between two guard-oriented teams, it was the two "bigs" who made all the difference for Ripon on Tuesday.
Tonight, Manteca High will play for much more than a share of first place in the Valley Oak League.
Lathrop High's Alex Garcia and Tristan Smith of Ripon are both rated No. 3 in their respective weight classes, according to The California Wrestler's Sac-Joaquin Section rankings.
Aysia Cortez of Venture/Excel Academy won the 126-pound championship Saturday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Invitational at McNair High in a thrilling 13-11 overtime match with Miranda Lamela of Pacheco-Los Banos.
Ripon High defeated visiting Modesto High on Saturday 35-20 in non-league girls' basketball action.
Garbage time does not apply to Sierra's boys basketball team.
Aysia Cortez and Mia Hill both went undefeated in the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Invitational held at McNair High in Stockton on Friday. They are among the six Manteca-area grapplers still in the hunt for top-five spots and a berth to the CIF State Championships.