Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
TUOLOMNE - They call it the great equalizer.
DAVIS - Ripon Christian had not lost a postseason game, let alone a match, leading up to its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship-round meeting against top-seeded Bradshaw Christian.
Weston Ranch busted out of the halftime break with a 6-0 spurt and didn't look back in a 64-46 win over International in the West Coast Jamboree Coral Division consolation championship at Antioch's Deer Valley High School.
STOCKTON - Joshua Patton stood head and shoulders above the competition on Monday.
SALIDA - As far as measuring sticks go, the Chavez boys basketball team gave Weston Ranch very little to work with.
Mahir Pepic may never know just how good he can be.
RIPON – Head coach Ed Mulder doesn't have the luxury of a Teagan Manus to steady and steer the Ripon Christian girls basketball team.
Ron Vander Molen expects the road to get rougher in the coming week, but for now he and the Ripon Christian boys basketball team are enjoying the ride.
East Union bounced back from its first loss of the season and will play for fifth place in the Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament today.
Ripon didn't have to wait long to exact revenge against Sierra, though both teams had to travel farther for the rematch.