With only 2.6 seconds left on the clock and down by two points, the East Union Lancers found themselves in the unique position of beating the Valley Oak League's best team at Manteca High's sold out Winter Gym.
ESCALON - Four-year varsity player Matt Ratto surpassed 2006 Ripon High graduate Nathan Clark on the program's all-time career scoring list Friday, but it was a bittersweet end to his and the Indians' regular season.
Wayne Cheung and the rest of the East Union High sophomore boys basketball team gave the Lancer faithful one last reason to be encouraged for the future of the varsity squad Friday.
Unborn and still nameless, Andrea Hiatt's baby boy did mommy a big favor by holding out past his due date of Feb. 14 for Thursday's big game against crosstown rival East Union.
All of the extra batting sessions, fielding drills and even the blisters on her hands have finally paid off for East Union High senior Cherie DeJesus. She signed her letter of intent to become a student-athlete for Central Arizona College Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls basketball team did its part.
RIPON - While powerhouse Modesto Christian capped yet another dominant run through the Trans Valley League for its fourth straight title, Ripon High's girls basketball team can find solace in going undefeated against the rest of the conference's opposition.
After narrowly losing to Valley Oak League sophomore girls champion Sonora at home Tuesday, Manteca moved into a second-place tie with rival East Union with its season-ending 40-24 on the Squires' home floor Thursday.
SONORA – With just under two minutes to play, Gerry Cooper calmly sank a pair of free throws to push the Manteca High varsity basketball team up by two and the Buffaloes would hold off Sonora High for a 68-64 Valley Oak League win Wednesday.
Alex Nuanez's march for redemption continues Friday and Saturday with the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament at East Union High.
Tyler Bylow was one of six seniors to take the court for the East Union Lancers on senior night, but Bylow shined brightest with a huge 22-point effort against the winless Lathrop Spartans in a 64-41 Valley Oak League win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
CERES – Bret Wilson led a balanced Sierra High scoring attack in its Valley Oak League win over the Central Valley Hawks Wednesday.
There is much more than bragging rights riding on Thursday's rubber match with rival East Union.
Manteca High's boys basketball team stretched its first-place lead while clinching its second straight Valley Oak League championship by beating second-place Sierra 66-49 Friday, but that did not improve its position on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff power ratings.
RIPON - Ripon Christian had the right guy at the right spot with the game still on the line with 3 seconds left against host Ripon.
Valley Oak League champion Iris Carrilo and Sierra's Haley Silva placed first and second in Division III girls, while the Manteca boys and Ripon Christian girls teams earned top-three finishes during the Sac-Joaquin Section Subsection Meet held at Frogtown this past Saturday.
The Sac-Joaquin Section indicated at the start of the season that more emphasis would be placed on strength of schedule in seeding playoff brackets.
RIPON - Linden got its revenge Thursday night.
RIPON – Travis Vander Molen buried his head in his hands after misfiring on a point-blank header.
There's a special bond that exists between quarterback and coach, which makes this Friday's rivalry tilt between Manteca and East Union, well...
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch managed a goal 12 minutes into the second half and kept visiting Woodland out of the net to escape the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs with a 1-0 win Thursday night.
Kole Gonzales racked up six goals, as the Ripon boys water polo team routed Ceres 22-3 Thursday in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs held at Woodcreek High of Roseville.
It was a brand new experience for Weston Ranch, a bright-eyed team of underclassmen and few seniors that had lifted the program to new heights by qualifying for the postseason.
CERES - The last time the East Union and Central Valley boys soccer programs met in the playoffs their semifinal escalated into a shootout.
No need to speculate on who is in and who is out of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff hunt for Manteca-area teams.
To be the champion Manteca would had to beat league champions in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III team playoffs.
The East Union volleyball team knows how to celebrate senior night.
Kevin Bolding all along felt that his Manteca volleyball team had enough talent to compete with the Valley Oak League's elite.
STOCKTON - Brooke Riley was aware of the pressure she faced at Monday's Sac-Section Division III Girls Golf Masters Tournament.
Victor Polanco has fond memories of the Central Valley High soccer field.