East Union had nothing to lose but played to win.
Sierra High won its 20th game of the season Friday night, a 57-38 handling of Weston Ranch at home.
After starting the season 2-2, the East Union freshman boys basketball team rolled off 21 straight wins, including all 16 Valley Oak League contests, to claim the VOL crown.
ROCKLIN – Twenty-eight area wrestlers advanced beyond Day 1 of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and V Tournaments Friday, either going undefeated and qualifying for today's championship semifinals or winning two out of three matches and qualifying for the consolation bracket.
SALIDA – With the absence of powerhouse forward Reeves Nelson – serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected from Tuesday's game against Ripon Ron Vander Nolen had a lot of reasons to think that his Ripon Christian Knights stood a chance at slaying undefeated Trans Valle League champion Modesto Christian.
It was all about business Wednesday night at Winter Gym where Manteca avenged its only Valley Oak League blemish of the season with a workman-like 59-52 win over Sonora.
The last time a Manteca High boys basketball team tore down the nets at Winter Gym, its current coaching staff was in grade school.
CERES - The playoffs seemed a certainty for Weston Ranch as recently as a week ago, but thanks to a shocking 47-40 loss to Ceres Wednesday night, it now appears that the Cougars will need a little help to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason.
Eric Godfrey scored 10 of his game-high 17 in the first quarter as the Manteca sophomore boys basketball team raced out to a 13-5 lead and cruised to a 52-45 win.
Two weeks ago, Manteca's boys basketball team hosted in-town adversary Sierra and won a 73-69 overtime thriller to take the outright lead in the race for the Valley Oak League championship.
Considering East Union claimed at least a share of its third-straight Valley Oak League championship with a 61-39 blowout of Oakdale Tuesday night, the senior night postgame atmosphere inside Dalben Center was surprisingly subdued.
SONORA – Sharon Washington continued her recent tear, scoring 22 points, and Davina Bennett added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but costly turnovers down the stretch were too much for Manteca to overcome in a 54-46 loss to Sonora.
RIPON - Perhaps it wasn't an upset after all.
RIPON - The Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs don't tip off until next week, but the postseason has already begun for Ripon.
WESTON RANCH – The Lathrop High sophomore girls basketball team finished its first Valley Oak League season at 8-8 with a 39-27 win over Weston Ranch Monday night.
East Union's game plan was to apply pressure on the Manteca back line from the opening whistle Monday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
With help from East Union, Weston Ranch finds itself comfortably ahead of the pack at the midway point of the Valley Oak League boys soccer season.
Jacqui Uecker collected 12 kills, seven digs, two aces and a block to help Ripon ward off Riverbank 25-12, 10-25, 25-12, 25-16 in a Trans-Valley League volleyball match on Monday.
Manteca kept up a relentless attack from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer Friday and defeated host Lathrop 48-6 in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca swept East Union to open Valley Oak League play.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.
Sierra remains on the heels of Valley Oak League-leading East Union after notching a decisive 242-271 win over Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.
Central Catholic remains in the driver's seat for the Valley Oak League championship after the conference's newest member knocked off defending titlist Manteca 6-3 for a second time this season.
LATHROP - With just two goals scored in the game's first 60 minutes, Manteca and Lathrop combined for three in a five-minute span in Wednesday's Valley Oak League contest at Bennie Gatto Field.
Ripon was undaunted by its first Trans-Valley League assignment Wednesday.
Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros could sense the frustration mounting from his Cougars in the first half of their Valley Oak League match at Oakdale on wednesday.
Brooke Riley capped off an impressive week Wednesday, shooting 5-under-par 31 on the links-style front nine at Tracy's Old River Golf Course, as East Union continued its Valley Oak League title defense with a 205-225 win against host Kimball.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
RIPON - Nothing is coming easy in what is shaping up to be a competitive Southern League boys soccer season.