It took three quarters for Kiwi Gardner to take over.
East Union and Ripon Christian's girls basketball teams are heavy underdogs in their Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs second-round contests tonight.
COLFAX – After giving Sac-Joaquin Division IV top seed Colfax an early 11 point lead in the first quarter, the visiting Ripon Indians simply couldn't overcome the margin in their first-round playoff appearance.
RIPON – After sprinting out of the gate to an early 10-point lead, the Ripon Christian Knights started putting all of the pieces together in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoff opener Wednesday against visiting Stone Ridge Christian (12-10) of Merced.
Manteca High's girls soccer team opened the season in impressive fashion but could not hold on in a 3-1 home loss to Lodi Wednesday.
LOOMIS - Leading scorer Aaron Hendricks was out for Wednesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason opener against No. 14 Sierra, but No. 3 Del Oro still had little trouble in advancing with a 69-39 victory.
Clipping a double-digit deficit to five points to close out the third period seemingly put the Rio Americano girls basketball team in position to continue its season. Yet a perfectly executed defensive shutout in the fourth quarter proved to be the end of the Raider's year in their 54-43 Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Tournament loss to East Union Tuesday at the Dalben Center.
FAIRFIELD - With head coaching duties split between assistant coach Garrett Tolman, boys head coach Dave Asuncion and athletic director Ron Inderbitzin, Manteca High's girls basketball team struggled to keep up with highly-favored Vanden in a 71-25 loss in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs Tuesday.
The good news for East Union High's girls basketball team is that its loss to rival Manteca in the regular-season finale last Thursday didn't bump it low enough in the Division III seedings for a possible second-round matchup with the nation's top-ranked team in St. Mary's.
A 13-game-winning streak to end the regular season wasn't good enough for Manteca High's boys basketball team to get a favorable seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
• Division III boys: No. 16 Hogan at No. 1 Sacramento, No. 9 Foothill at No. 8 Lincoln, No. 12 Livingston at No. 5 Rio Americano, No. 13 El Dorado at No. 4 St. Mary's, No. 14 Sierra at No. 3 Del Oro, No. 11 Pioneer at No. 6 Center, No. 10 Placer at No. 7 Manteca, No. 15 Sonora at No. 2 Vista del Lago.
MODESTO - East Union High's girls soccer team had a strong showing its first non-league match of the season Monday, battling Central Catholic to a 0-0 tie.
Four area wrestlers closed out the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Wrestling Championships with an opportunity to win titles, but all came up short yet will continue their season by advancing to the Masters Wrestling Tournament next weekend in Stockton.
HILMAR – A perfect scenario would have had a handful of Ripon High wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Tournament, but it was only meant to be for a pair of Indians after top-5 finishes during the section's Division V tournament Saturday.
Marcus Montano has scored bending free kicks at the final whistle to win soccer games.
Inconsistency on offense has plagued Ripon all season, and the 14th-seeded Indians battled through the shooting yips once again in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV opener at No. 3 West Campus.
Ripon Christian's first-round opponent?
Jim Agostini didn't recognize the number, but there was no mistaking the voice on the other end of the line.
YUBA CITY – With 5 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday and a tie score in the 285-pound consolation championship of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Wrestling Championships at River Valley High School, Manteca's Steven Martinez smothered Matt Kjeldgaard of Oakdale and slammed Kjeldgaard to the mat, landing on top of the Mustang and apparently claiming third place.
Weston Ranch hadn't lost back-to-back games all season until it dropped its final two in the Valley Oak League.
Cody Haines and David Onochie, the little big men for the Ripon boys basketball team, are playing some of their best basketball right now.
George Contente looked at West Campus and Colfax as potential opponents first round opponents for his Ripon High girls basketball team.
Midway through the season, East Union was languishing in the middle of the pack, searching for a foothold in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff chase.
LATHROP – Captain Yaneli Avila is revered for her quiet leadership on the soccer field.
STOCKTON – For the Weston Ranch boys basketball team, the season will finish just as it began – on the road.
Scott Thomason broke from tradition at the start of the basketball season.
Manteca boys basketball coach Brett Lewis feels like the bounces are going the Buffaloes' way as of late.
Daniel Ruiz made five straight free throws in the final minute, 30 seconds, helping host Golden West edge previously-undefeated Sequoia 48-47 in Tuesday's thrilling Manteca Unified Student Trust small-school boys basketball championship game.
The Manteca girls basketball team's stumble to the finish line ultimately cost it a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.