SALIDA – The Manteca Buffaloes wanted to close out its non-league schedule in the always-challenging Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic for a reason and its 81-68 win over San Leandro High got things going in the right direction.
TRACY – The East Union Lancers were the defending champions of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Basketball Tournament, but that did not help the squad in this season's tournament opener, dropping their first round game 47-46 to the Linden Lions.
Braian Gomez's strength as a leader also served as a weakness.
With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.
ELK GROVE – The Ripon Indians had to conquer a double-overtime mountain to get to the Consumnes Oaks Tournament championship, but beating undefeated Argonaut High for the title was not in the plans as Ripon dropped the finale 59-32 Wednesday.
Sierra High standouts Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni put together a season that left the Valley Oak League's doubles teams in an unfair position of knowing they were going to lose.
Not even the running clock in the fourth quarter could slow down the Manteca Buffaloes, who trampled Buhach Colony of Atwater 76-31 Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
ELK GROVE – Sierra High held a slim three-point halftime lead, but opened the second half focused and pulled away from the Lathrop Spartans 50-32 during consolation bracket action in the Consumnes Oaks Tournament Tuesday.
MERCED – The Sierra Timberwolves were able to get another solid performance outside from Trevor Nogueira and cruised to a non-league victory over the host Golden Valley Eagles.
WATERFORD - Lathrop High continued its successful preseason run through the junior varsity circuit Saturday in the Wingo Tournament.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League's individual title, lead Sierra's proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.
ELK GROVE - First-year varsity Cosumnes Oaks got visiting Ripon's attention early by taking an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
Amber Parker may or may not have been the best female runner at Sierra High during the cross country season.
RIPON – Despite scoring more points in the game's fourth quarter than they did in the entire first half, the Ripon Christian Knights simply couldn't overcome an early deficit to the visiting Linden Lions.
SAN JOSE – It might be early, but things are looking good for the Sierra High School wrestling program.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.
Ripon Christian's boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.
The Manteca and East Union volleyball teams split their first two sets Wednesday before the visiting Lancers atoned for an earlier season sweep and pulled away to win the next two for a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 win in Valley Oak League action at Winter Gymnasium.
East Union co-head coaches Brian Goulart and Dennis Wells figured this was the year that the Lancers' run of championships in the Sierra Invitational would end.
The hardest part of the schedule is over for Ripon's football team.