It is nice when you control your own destiny.
STOCKTON - The Wolf Pack spilled out of the stands, washing the court in blues, grays and whites.
RIPON - Ripon Christian garnered its fourth league championship in five years Friday night, but no one would blame the Knights for relishing this one a little more than the rest.
Ryan Shippley knows how to get a team moving.
Lathrop couldn't overcome a lackluster start in a 61-44 loss to visiting Kimball on Friday.
Jim Agostini sauntered back into Winter Gymnasium alongside assistant coach Rick Marsh, and as the door closed behind them their East Union girls basketball team could be heard celebrating a much-needed 58-48 win over Manteca on Thursday.
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.
Neither Joshua Patton nor Hunter Johnson knows what the future holds.
Lathrop's Keenan Donatelli pitched an outstanding game for six innings Wednesday against host East Union, but things fell apart in the seventh inning of the Valley Oak League contest at Agostini Field.
Manteca busted out of its recent scoring slump Wednesday with a 5-2 victory at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, and with four regular-season contests remaining it's a safe bet that the prolific Buffaloes will break the 100-goal mark for the first time in program history.
When Miranda McDonnell joined Ripon Aquatics less than two years ago, she sat down with coach Erik Zador and spoke candidly about her goals.
While it's still early in the Valley Oak League race, the Sierra High Timberwolves share the top spot with Oakdale.
A fifth straight Trans-Valley League title may now be out of reach for Ripon High's boys golf team, but coach Chris Musseman has his players' focused train on an even larger prize.
This was supposed to be the year.
Manteca High's boys tennis team secured sole possession of the Valley Oak League crown in its regular-season finale on Tuesday, but 10th-year head coach Frank Fontana and the Buffaloes aren't satisfied yet.
RIPON - Mistakes proved costly for Ripon High during a big Trans-Valley League showdown against first-place Hughson on Tuesday.
Lindsey Walljasper and the Sierra High softball team are playing as well as they've played all season, and their timing couldn't be any better.
Chris Musseman expects better play out of his Ripon High boys golf team the next two days.
East Union swim coach Natalie Heihn won't judge Lathrop by Tuesday's final scores.
Hughson has rarely been a kind host to Ripon's girls soccer team in recent years.
Tristan Smith has his return to Bakersfield all mapped out, with push-pins marking all of wrestling's usual stops: league and divisional championships, Masters and lastly, state.
After an early free-kick goal, the high-octane East Union offense could not manage another goal until the game's last minute but Sierra did not take advantage of multiple scoring opportunities and lost to the visiting Lancers 2-0 Monday in Valley Oak League soccer action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.