SALIDA – With the absence of powerhouse forward Reeves Nelson – serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected from Tuesday's game against Ripon Ron Vander Nolen had a lot of reasons to think that his Ripon Christian Knights stood a chance at slaying undefeated Trans Valle League champion Modesto Christian.
It was all about business Wednesday night at Winter Gym where Manteca avenged its only Valley Oak League blemish of the season with a workman-like 59-52 win over Sonora.
The last time a Manteca High boys basketball team tore down the nets at Winter Gym, its current coaching staff was in grade school.
CERES - The playoffs seemed a certainty for Weston Ranch as recently as a week ago, but thanks to a shocking 47-40 loss to Ceres Wednesday night, it now appears that the Cougars will need a little help to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason.
Eric Godfrey scored 10 of his game-high 17 in the first quarter as the Manteca sophomore boys basketball team raced out to a 13-5 lead and cruised to a 52-45 win.
Two weeks ago, Manteca's boys basketball team hosted in-town adversary Sierra and won a 73-69 overtime thriller to take the outright lead in the race for the Valley Oak League championship.
Considering East Union claimed at least a share of its third-straight Valley Oak League championship with a 61-39 blowout of Oakdale Tuesday night, the senior night postgame atmosphere inside Dalben Center was surprisingly subdued.
SONORA – Sharon Washington continued her recent tear, scoring 22 points, and Davina Bennett added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but costly turnovers down the stretch were too much for Manteca to overcome in a 54-46 loss to Sonora.
RIPON - Perhaps it wasn't an upset after all.
RIPON - The Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs don't tip off until next week, but the postseason has already begun for Ripon.
WESTON RANCH – The Lathrop High sophomore girls basketball team finished its first Valley Oak League season at 8-8 with a 39-27 win over Weston Ranch Monday night.
CERES – The plotlines were plentiful Saturday at Central Valley High, the site of this season's Valley Oak League wrestling championships.
HUGHSON - As all wrestling coaches know, timing is everything.
WESTON RANCH - It was a 32-minute passing-of-the-torch ceremony, but defending Valley Oak League champion Weston Ranch didn't give up that torch so easily.
Head coach Scott Thomason is hoping that his Sierra Timberwolves are beginning to round into shape for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs with a week left in the Valley Oak League season.
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.