CERES – Sierra High trailed the Ceres Bulldogs by four heading into the intermission, but a blistering hot third quarter provided the Timberwolves with all the separation they would need in their 59-53 win over the host Bulldogs.
Manteca High's defending Valley Oak League champion boys basketball team began its title defense against visiting Oakdale Tuesday and had little trouble in dispatching the overmatched Mustangs, 55-42.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
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.
East Union High 2011 graduates TJ Gordon and Dominic Borba took similar routes to where they're currently at – taking their talents to NAIA schools and continuing their football careers.
Even in defeat, the East Union girls basketball team learned plenty about itself in Wednesday's Valley Oak League-opening contest with visiting Kimball.
STOCKTON - With a random draw to determine the starting weight in dual wrestling matches, the final bout of the night is not often between the heavyweights.
LATHROP -The Manteca High Buffaloes put behind their preseason woes to roll past the host Spartans on Wednesday, 42-26.
The Sierra girls basketball team went into halftime leading by a comfortable margin during its Valley Oak League opener against visiting Oakdale Wednesday night.
By JAMES BURNS
By JONAMAR JACINTO
STOCKTON - Despite trailing in the third quarter and a 27-point effort from the Weston Ranch's Jaelen Ragsdale, visiting Sonora scored 30 points in the fourth to come back and win the Valley Oak League opener 68-62 on Tuesday night.
Lathrop has qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball playoffs just once (2012) in four years, while Kimball is oh-fer going into its fourth varsity season.
The rebuilding of East Union's girls basketball team already appears to be over.
Ripon Christian was able to slow down Mariposa's top player.