The parity in the Valley Oak League has made for an exciting season for boys and girls basketball, but it also has several teams scrapping for postseason berths according to the first release of the Sac-Joaquin Section's playoff power ratings.
It's all about control for East Union High's girls basketball team these days.
TURLOCK - East Union High's varsity wrestling team brought just four competitors at Pitman High's 5th Annual Rumble in the Jungle Saturday, but all four produced noteworthy results.
CERES - A loss at Central Valley would have been disastrous to the East Union boys basketball team's postseason hopes, and they were a few big plays, from emerging junior Robert Vaughn, away from letting that happen.
Alison Telles scored 16 of her 21 points to highlight East Union's 50-28 sophomore girls basketball victory at rival Sierra Monday.
LATHROP – By the time Lathrop High's girls varsity basketball team found a handle on its Valley Oak League contest with Oakdale High, the Mustangs were in the midst of an 18-2 run and easily on their way to a 51-28 win over the Spartans Saturday.
HANFORD – A handful of area wrestlers made their way south to compete in the California Girls Wrestling Invitational at Hanford West High just outside of Fresno. The tournament is the final tune-up for the Sac-Joaquin Women's Masters Tournament taking place Feb. 5-6 in Stockton.
RIPON – Ripon High piqued the crowds' anxiety to maximum heights when Andy Bunting pulled the Indians to within three on a layup after a steal with 1:23 remaining, but that would be as close as crosstown host Ripon Christian would have it in its 52-47 Trans Valley League Friday.
A telling statistical category for Sierra High's boys basketball team this season is points allowed.
SONORA - Sonora torched undersized East Union in the post in its 81-67 win on Jan. 6.
The Sierra High boys sophomore basketball team entered the fourth quarter trailing by four points, but a dominant final period lifted the Timberwolves to a comfortable 59-51 Valley Oak League win over the visiting Ceres Bulldogs.
RIPON - It took 7 minutes, 34 seconds for Ripon High's girls basketball team to sink its first field goal Thursday - a jumper from the right elbow off the fingertips of Adrianna Mayberry.
Sierra High's football team reached unprecedented heights last fall and was rewarded for it.
Trailing by double digits going into halftime provided the Sonora Wildcats with all the motivation they would need, mounting a ferocious comeback only to fall to the host East Union Lancers 47-42 in Valley Oak League girls basketball play Thursday.
A no-hitter from its No. 2 pitcher helped Manteca High's baseball team earn its first Valley Oak League championship in 29 years.
It's better late than never for 16-year-old Justin Clayton.
The Red Sox saved their best for last.
With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the sixth Thursday in the Northgate Little League AAA championship tilt with the Nationals, Phillies slugger Tyler Toste hit a towering shot to center field that looked as if it would clear the bases.
Cruz Lopez picked a good time to hit his first home run of the year.
It's official: Manteca High's football team will open its 2014 season Aug. 29 at Levi's Stadium.
Phillip Leuvano threw four shutout innings of relief Tuesday and Blue Jays teammate Scotty Armstrong had a monster bat in an 11-4 win over the A's in semifinal action of the Northgate majors tournament.
Robert Vernon has returned the Ripon softball program to a place of prominence and his hard work hasn't gone unnoticed.
ELK GROVE - Less than 24 hours after graduating, Bryan Vincent mustered enough energy to make the best jump of his career in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.
ELK GROVE – After the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track and Field championships no local competitors advanced to the state championships, but one came close.
Manteca Dolphins president Priscilla Brink hoped to see cleaner, faster swims from a relatively new team.
Valley Oak League champion, Sac-Joaquin Section champion, Most Valuable Player - Manteca High's Jacob Corn achieved the trifecta in his senior season.
Despite her disappointment, Loretta Kakala stuck around near the Cal State Stanislaus discus ring, watching closely as if taking mental notes of some of the more experienced competitors still alive in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV/V meet on May 20.
Abby Buitrago tallied 52 goals, led the entire state of California in points and guided her team to its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section soccer championship.
LODI – Manteca's bats came to life during Monday night's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV final against Vista del Lago at Tony Zupo Field – but it wasn't until the fifth inning.