The Valley Oak League race for the championship has begun.
SUMMERVILLE – Trailing by double digits after the first eight minutes of action did not rattle Ripon's focus, as it bounced back with a strong second quarter on its way to a 52-45 win over the Summerville Bears Friday.
The Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team won another tightly-contested struggle Friday, holding off visiting East Union 56-54 to remain undefeated in the opening week of the Valley Oak League season.
Different Manteca Buffaloes took turns carrying the load.
It's tough to dig up positives from a 40-32 loss, but Sierra High's girls basketball team gave coach Steve Unterholzner reason to remain upbeat Thursday following a thrilling start to the Valley Oak League season.
SONORA - The East Union Lancers traveled to Sonora and made the trip worthwhile with a 53-45 win over the Wildcats Thursday in Valley Oak League action.
Trailing by nearly double digits midway through the fourth, Sierra High's sophomore girls basketball team fired back to steal a 38-35 victory over visiting Ceres. It marked the first win of the season for the Timberwolves (1-1 Valley Oak League overall).
Everything appeared to be in place for the East Union Lancers as they traded shots with the visiting Sonora Wildcats Wednesday night at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High knows they are flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves are not flying high after their 67-52 win over the Ceres Bulldogs keeps Sierra atop of the Valley Oak League standings after Wednesday's contests.
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.
STOCKTON - The blond streak in Esteban Paramo's hair may have started as a personal statement of style, but it's come to symbolize something much bigger.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.