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.
With the Valley Oak League championship already annexed by Manteca High's girls basketball team, the buzz surrounding its anticipated regular-season showdown with rival East Union took a little bit of a hit.
WESTON RANCH - With Sac-Joaquin Section postseason positioning at stake, intensity was not a problem for Weston Ranch and Sierra's girls basketball teams Thursday in their Valley Oak League finale.
RIPON - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
SACRAMENTO - Christian Brothers put up three runs in the third inning and coasted to a 5-1 win over Manteca in opening-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III softball playoffs Tuesday at the Sacramento Softball Complex, ending the season for the Buffaloes.
All season, Manteca High boys tennis head coach Frank Fontana has praised the players on the lower end of the team ladder, and understandably so.
STOCKTON - Nick Sharp just missed making the cut Monday for next week's Nor-Cal Tournament at Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas.
It will be an all-Trans-Valley League showdown on Wednesday when Ripon welcomes back Escalon for a semifinal match in the Sac-Joaquin Section Coed Team Tennis playoffs.
Jake Menasco did all he could and then some.
RIPON - Ripon No. 3 batter Nick Price picked a good time to pick up a hit.
Kenny Wooten was not going to let a sore ankle slow him down.
Celina Cooper started her senior season with plenty of pop in her bat, but a pop in her knee is what ended it.
Yok Jing Ma and Mike Lopez's quest for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament doubles title was a delayed for a day after the opening rounds rained out at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville on Thursday.
Former Manteca High football standout Reggie Bell was among 11 rookie free agents signed by the Washington Redskins, the team announced Thursday.
Manteca will take on 10th seeded Ponderosa in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls soccer playoffs.
Sometimes, missing a shot works out too.
RIPON - Having two starting defenders out would put most teams at a disadvantage.
RIPON - The baby bounded across the soccer field toward her father, stumbling over her steps but smiling the whole way.
The Manteca High baseball team has a long road ahead in its attempt at gaining a second straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship.