With four games left in the regular season, the Sierra Timberwolves appear well on their way towards an outright Valley Oak League title.
LATHROP - After surviving seven lead changes and four ties, host Lathrop ended the first half on a 7-0 run and outscored East Union 22-9 in the third quarter on the way to a 64-48 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Isela Rivera isn't concerned so much about her place in East Union girls soccer lore, though there have been few as productive as the senior striker.
Having battled back from a 21-point deficit to visiting Lathrop and leading by one with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Manteca's Jessica Hasal penetrated to the key and then dished out to Allison Rachels on the perimeter. Rachels threw up a 3-pointer and by the time it bounced off the glass and through the net she was picking herself up off the floor with the Buffaloes on the way to a thrilling 54-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball victory at Winter Gymnasium.
STOCKTON - With no true post players on his team, Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer has challenged the two tallest to be more of a presence in the paint.
Not this time.
The Ripon Christian boys basketball team overcame Turlock Christian's considerable size advantage for a second time with Tuesday's commanding 64-51 triumph.
RIPON - Amber Hilvers searched for the words, trying her hardest not to sound disrespectful.
All that matters is who leads at the end. For the Ripon Christian girls' basketball team, that is a good thing.
Lathrop junior Isaiah Ellis put on a show in front of the home crowd Friday night.
In a game that featured a head-to-head showdown between the Valley Oak League's two best senior post players, it was the guards who made the difference.
Weston Ranch put Friday's Valley Oak League ball game against Sierra solely in the hands of standout sophomore Jaelen Ragsdale.
Don't let the records fool you.
RIPON – Tiana Chacon has been an All-Trans Valley League first-team third baseman the past two seasons.
Jan. 15 seems so long ago for Sierra's girls basketball team.
RIPON - After blanking Ripon in their first meeting this season, Hughson pitcher Courtney Thornhill was working on eight consecutive shutout innings over the Indians when she turned her ankle in the first inning and had to leave Tuesday's Trans-Valley League softball contest.
East Union may be peaking at just the right time.
Both of Sierra's points were awarded thanks to pair of grueling victories from its No. 5 and No. 6 singles players in a 7-2 loss at East Union Tuesday.
Two big wins from the bottom half of its singles ladder propelled Manteca High's boys tennis team to a pivotal 6-3 win over visiting Sonora on Monday.
The area's two best offensive linemen along with two record-breaking skill position players have been selected to compete in the 41st Central California Lions All-Star Football Game.
Manteca and Oakdale both needed a win, so it's understandable why both were unsatisfied with Monday's result.
Alexis Erich and East Union held a three-run cushion heading into the seventh inning Friday and were three outs away from a key Valley Oak League victory over Kimball.
Oakdale capitalized on its opportunities and Sierra did not.
With two of their top contributors out, Sierra High's boys swimmers suffered their first defeat of the season by a 99-71 margin at Kimball of Tracy. Kimball's girls also won by the same score.
Ripon's defense hadn't given up more than two goals in a game all season until Friday.
Only one of Friday's matches between Ripon and Hughson's co-ed tennis teams needed to be decided in a third set.
Josh Clark fittingly scored the deciding run on a dropped third strike in the top of the seventh inning, as Ripon avoided an upset at Modesto Christian with a 7-4 victory Friday.
Oakdale High's recent run of dominance includes seven straight Valley Oak League championships and six Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV titles in that same span.
Sierra's Jack Thomson turned to a teenager for direction late in a 7-1 victory, and the Hall of Fame skipper was rewarded for his faith.
Isela Rivera fired the game-tying goal in the 38th minute with an angry blast from 20 yards away that knotted the game at one apiece Thursday night.