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 - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
LATHROP - Anand Hundal will probably be on time for practice from now on.
Chris Teevan joked that he might need a search party to find the Weston Ranch boys basketball team's home jerseys.
Kimball put its best defender on East Union's best shooter on the final play of Tuesday's Valley Oak League opener at Dalben Center.
It's not just about what Manteca High's baseball team accomplished, but how it went about doing so.
Sierra begins its Valley Oak League title defense tonight against visiting Oakdale.
In a word - balanced.
STOCKTON – The battle for second place Saturday at Stagg High School's Demolition Day Wrestling Tournament came down to the 285-pound bout between East Union's Michael Villanueva and Sierra's David Saenz. Villanueva got the pin to get the Lancers second place by a point and he was awarded the outstanding heavyweight wrestler award.
Mark Paule Jr. burst onto the scene with seven touchdowns in a season-opening victory at Ripon High, and then never let off the gas.
Ruby Daube stepped up big for East Union once again.
With its bigs slowed by foul trouble, Sierra looked to its guards to end its pre-league schedule on a high note Friday at Tokay.
On multiple occasions this past fall season, Dani Erdelatz and some of her Ripon Christian teammates acknowledged that the 2014 Knights lacked the star power of their predecessors.