There is much more than bragging rights riding on Thursday's rubber match with rival East Union.
Manteca High's boys basketball team stretched its first-place lead while clinching its second straight Valley Oak League championship by beating second-place Sierra 66-49 Friday, but that did not improve its position on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff power ratings.
RIPON - Ripon Christian had the right guy at the right spot with the game still on the line with 3 seconds left against host Ripon.
RIPON – Ripon Christian's varsity girls basketball team fought off every blowout attempt that visiting rival Ripon threw its way, yet the Knights could not fight off their second Trans Valley League loss to the Indians in a 60-46 defeat Tuesday.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans had one last opportunity to record their one and only win of the Valley Oak League season, but even a valiant fourth quarter effort could not help Lathrop earn its first victory in a season-ending 52-48 loss to East Union Tuesday.
Even with the Valley Oak League sophomore girls basketball title already wrapped up, Sonora High wants to close its season on a high note.
WESTON RANCH - East Union High heavyweight Devon Woodall's goals moving forward are simple.
Despite a relatively close halftime score, Weston Ranch-based George Komure School went to work in the second half of the Manteca Unified Student Trust championship boys championship basketball game, rolling to a 43-31 victory over Shasta School Friday at Sierra High.
Ernie Pimentel was the last of the Manteca High boys basketball players to hop off the ladder with a piece of history in hand.
East Union High's boys basketball team kept its slim postseason hopes alive Friday with a 60-53 victory over Central Valley on homecoming night.
LATHROP - Ripon High's boys basketball team did well to make it a game for a half, but Modesto Christian had too much in its arsenal for the Indians to keep up for the long haul.
Wayne Cheung single-handedly outscored Central Valley in East Union High's 58-30 homecoming victory Friday in sophomore boys basketball action.
Sharon Washington hit the big shot to help Manteca High's girls basketball team beat Sierra the first time the two teams met, and she was at it again Thursday in the Valley Oak League rematch with postseason berths on the line for both squads.
Manteca resident and St. Mary's High girls basketball star Chelsea Gray has garnered nationwide attention and the accolades that come with it, but the latest tops them all.
The hardest part of the schedule is over for Ripon's football team.
Manteca and Oakdale entered Wednesday's Valley Oak League soccer contest tied in the standing, and the Mustangs escaped Guss Schmiedt Field with a 5-2 victory and sole possession of second place.
Manteca is on a three-match winning streak after thumping Kimball 8-1 in Tracy on Wednesday.
TRACY - Mahir Pepic and Haley Silva won the varsity boys and girls races without much of a challenge in the second Valley Oak League cluster meet Tuesday at Eagal Lakes.
Rich Posz hoped that his East Union volleyball team's upset of Oakdale last Thursday would have a carry-over effect in Tuesday's duel with first-place Central Catholic.
RIPON - Thomas Sidtikun scored two goals and assisted on a third Tuesday to help keep defending league champion Ripon in first place in the Trans-Valley League with a 3-0 win over Escalon at Stouffer Field.
Brooke Riley looked to be on her way to another outstanding round after a birdie-birdie start in East Union's Valley Oak League match with Sierra on Tuesday.
Elizabeth Tolbert held off East Union's Maddie Yslava to win a hard-earned three-set match and highlighted an 8-1 victory for visiting Manteca on Tuesday.
East Union's game plan was to apply pressure on the Manteca back line from the opening whistle Monday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
With help from East Union, Weston Ranch finds itself comfortably ahead of the pack at the midway point of the Valley Oak League boys soccer season.
Jacqui Uecker collected 12 kills, seven digs, two aces and a block to help Ripon ward off Riverbank 25-12, 10-25, 25-12, 25-16 in a Trans-Valley League volleyball match on Monday.
Manteca kept up a relentless attack from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer Friday and defeated host Lathrop 48-6 in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca swept East Union to open Valley Oak League play.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.