The area's three remaining girls basketball teams are each one win away from qualifying for NorCals while advancing into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs semifinal round.
For the remainder of the season it is win at all costs, and that was obviously the mindset for the East Union Lancers in their 58-48 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III first-round win over Dixon High Tuesday at the Dalben Center.
Defense helped Manteca High overcome dry spells on the offensive end Tuesday in its first-round showdown with 12th-seeded Natomas in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs.
RIPON - In the end, it didn't matter that the Ripon Christian girls basketball team nearly surrendered a 20-point lead and virtually invited the visiting Victory Christian Vikings into a game they were never in.
Being the second best team in the Trans Valley League was not good enough to earn Ripon High's girls basketball team a home game in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs, and it proved costly in the Indians' 78-68 overtime loss to Linden High Tuesday.
The Sierra High girls basketball barely earned one of 16 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff berths, but getting in earned the Timberwolves a matchup with the tourney's No. 1 seed,
WESTON RANCH - The season came to crashing halt Tuesday for the Weston Ranch High girls varsity basketball team.
Even though blue-chip prospect Josiah Turner, a 6-foot-3 point guard bound for Arizona, was dismissed by the team last month, Sacramento High may still be favored to defend its Division-III crown in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
With five teams qualifying and three Manteca Unified schools hosting a first-round game, the Valley Oak League is well-represented in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs - so far.
Good news first: Sierra High's two losses to end the Valley Oak League girls basketball season last week had no effect on its postseason chances.
EL DORADO HILLS – Closing the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Wrestling tournaments with a berth into the SJS Masters meet was the primary goal, but Weston Ranch's Donnell Simms was able to take it a step further by winning the 189-pound championship on his way to the Masters.
Weston Ranch's boys basketball team was expected to contend for the Valley Oak League title this season, even with three sophomores in the starting lineup.
One team was trying to close out a frustrating season with one last quality effort.
LATHROP - J.J. Ramirez wants a commitment from his Lathrop High boys varsity basketball team.
The Ripon Indians opened the contest with a blistering start and never lost track, blasting Orestimba High 88-57 to close out the Trans Valley League boys basketball season Friday.
The Manteca High Buffaloes improved to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League, defeating visiting rival East Union in boys tennis action, 9-0.
Sierra overwhelmed undermanned Manteca in the first Valley Oak League swim meet of the season Tuesday.
MORAGA - The Sierra boys basketball team gathered in a dimly lit room, searching for the silver lining in a season-ending loss.
The last time Delaney Pamplin faced Oakdale it was in the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game.
The Ripon High Indians used a 16-hit attack Tuesday to roll past visiting Riverbank, winning handily 17-5.
East Union did what Sierra hopes to achieve by the end of the boys golf season.
Abby Buitrago started her hat trick with a pair of goals in a two-minute span as Ripon Christian had its way with Le Grand in a 6-0 victory.
Four area wrestling standouts returned home from Fresno with distinct trophies this weekend.
Destiny can be a cruel bride.
Leah Manuleleua recorded a hat trick for a third straight game, and the Manteca High girls soccer team dominated from start to finish 9-0 rout of visiting Weston Ranch on Monday.
When Sierra's Josh Patton continues his basketball career next season at Sac State, he will have left behind some pretty big shoes to fill. Timberwolves junior Jess Spivey tried those shoes on for size Saturday night, stepping up when Patton was forced to leave the game with foul trouble and helped lead Sierra to a 65-57 quarterfinal NorCal playoff win over visiting Archbishop Riordan-San Francisco.
STOCKTON – Sierra was four outs away from a win over Gregori in the Banner Island Classic on Saturday when the Jaguars managed an RBI single and then the Timberwolves committed multiple errors to give Gregori the go-ahead run.
Ilena Rivera scored three goals and assisted on a fourth to lead East Union to a 4-0 win over tournament host Sierra in the championship game of the Vern Gebhardt Cup on Saturday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Contrary to popular belief, the star quarterback doesn't command all the attention, nor does he covet it.
RIPON – Billy Marr and Sean Broker have skill sets and smarts that have made small-school college coaches across the nation drool and reach deep into their scholarship funds.