Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
STOCKTON - The East Union boys basketball team nearly squandered its nine-point halftime lead, holding on for a 58-57 win over Stagg in 4th Annual Bear Creek Bruin Shootout Tuesday.
There were moments of brilliance and keep-away possession – the hallmarks of the Sierra girls soccer program.
RIPON – Ripon Christian sophomore Travis Zuidervaart had the Indians' lineup baffled Thursday.
Scheduling conflicts and other factors forced Manteca High girls soccer coach Justin Coenenberg to shrink the Buffalo Cup tournament field back down to eight.
The East Union boys tennis team showed little rust in its first Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday, downing visiting Oakdale, 7-2.
East Union's rebuilding boys golf team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Oakdale Golf & Country Club on Thursday, falling to host Oakdale High, 250-251.
East Union had one run taken away and gift wrapped another for Tracy in a 2-1 eight-inning loss at Agostini Field on Wednesday.
GALT - In the end, the Capital Christian press was just too much to handle as the Cougars started on an 8-0 run and never trailed in a 56-38 win over Ripon Christian in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V girls basketball championships at Galt High's Warrior Gymnasium.
Matt Rose led five Sierra players who produced sub-50 scores in a 217-317 win over visiting Weston Ranch on Wednesday.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
By JAMES BURNS
Weston Ranch put together a solid all-around effort in its season-opener at Stagg on Wednesday, winning decisively, 8-1.
Neil MacDannald is perfect so far in his return to the dugout as Manteca High's head baseball coach, though things didn't always go perfectly in the Buffaloes' season opener against visiting Beyer on Tuesday.
Manteca High's boys tennis team is looking to reclaim the throne in the Valley Oak League.
Sierra bounced back from its season-opening loss with its commanding 12-1 five-inning victory at Johansen (Modesto) on Tuesday. The Timberwolves were coming off Monday's 9-2 road defeat to Turlock.
Sierra Downum had a foot in both of Lathrop's goals in a 2-0 shutout at Pacheco of Los Banos on Tuesday.