Different Manteca Buffaloes took turns carrying the load.
It's tough to dig up positives from a 40-32 loss, but Sierra High's girls basketball team gave coach Steve Unterholzner reason to remain upbeat Thursday following a thrilling start to the Valley Oak League season.
SONORA - The East Union Lancers traveled to Sonora and made the trip worthwhile with a 53-45 win over the Wildcats Thursday in Valley Oak League action.
Trailing by nearly double digits midway through the fourth, Sierra High's sophomore girls basketball team fired back to steal a 38-35 victory over visiting Ceres. It marked the first win of the season for the Timberwolves (1-1 Valley Oak League overall).
Everything appeared to be in place for the East Union Lancers as they traded shots with the visiting Sonora Wildcats Wednesday night at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High knows they are flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves are not flying high after their 67-52 win over the Ceres Bulldogs keeps Sierra atop of the Valley Oak League standings after Wednesday's contests.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but they had no idea their Valley Oak League opener would end with a 51-21 and a 64-9 loss to Ceres and Oakdale highs Wednesday.
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.
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.
LATHROP - Dylan Gross scored 11 of his game-high 13 points in the second half to lead the Woodward Mustangs to a 43-36 win over the Mossdale Jaguars on Tuesday in the Manteca Unified Student Trust Large School Boys Basketball Championship at Mossdale School.
Sierra is the boys Valley Oak League basketball champion for the fourth time in as many years, and as a result of Tuesday's 84-48 thumping of visiting Lathrop the Timberwolves are a perfect 14-0 for the second time in that same stretch.
Four Ripon players were recognized on senior night Tuesday, and they had more reason to celebrate following the Indians' 36-27 triumph over Escalon.
Anand Hundal once again came up short of his first career triple-double in Manteca High's 69-37 shellacking of visiting Oakdale in a regular-season finale Tuesday.
East Union is peaking at just the right time.
RIPON - Rod Wright could sense this loss was coming.