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.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
RIPON - After leading by just seven points at halftime Thursday, No. 5 Ripon Christian repeatedly drove to the basket and put up 29 third-quarter points on its way to a convincing 64-38 victory over 12th-seeded Buckingham Charter-Vacaville in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V boys basketball playoffs.
Ripon High's 15th-seeded boys basketball team went down playing up to the competition Wednesday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs tipped off.
By DAVE CAMPBELL
STOCKTON – Elisabeth Alexander sold the pump fake, lifting her defender into the air.
Manteca High head coach Dave Asuncion had opportunities to keep 6-foot-6 freshman Tydus Verhoeven off the varsity roster.
FOLSOM – Six of the eight area wrestlers who punched tickets to this weekend's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament in Stockton all came up empty during the finals of their divisional tournaments on Saturday.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
Alex Garcia and Lucas Widmer are back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV semifinals, where they will be joined by Manteca heavyweight Steven Martinez today at Vista del Lago High in Folsom.
Three area wrestlers will seek to redeem themselves in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament today and Saturday after coming up short of titles in Los Banos last season.
Reactions were mixed among area coaches Wednesday when the Sac-Joaquin Section unveiled its postseason basketball brackets.
Allie Walljasper has yet to throw a pitch in 2014 for Sierra but the awards are pouring in anyway.
At the midway point in the season, things weren't unfolding as planned for the Lathrop boys basketball team and senior forward Eric Spencer.
LATHROP – Nathan McGrath waited near the locker room, clapping and serenading his players as they bounced down the hallway.
TRACY - Alexis Clark's reversal of fortune did not bode well for Weston Ranch.
STOCKTON – Chris Teevan took a lap around the track and paced all over the Weston Ranch campus while awaiting the final results of the Lathrop-Sierra game Tuesday night.