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.
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 and East Union are out for revenge, while Lathrop's second-year head coach returns to his hometown to lead the Spartans onto familiar grounds.
Brooke Riley stood shoulder to shoulder with a teammate, both staring down the third fairway at Manteca Park Golf Course.
LATHROP – Alfredo Reynaga hasn't wasted any time putting his stamp on the Lathrop High boys soccer program.
Weston Ranch isn't going to surprise anybody this year.
Ripon Christian has re-established itself as a force among Sac-Joaquin Section small-school powers following eight straight losing seasons.
The Ripon High boys soccer team didn't just lose the area's top player from a year ago.
Kevin Mendiola wheeled back with his right foot and took the ball off a bounce, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
An undefeated league record and a playoff win would be seen as successful for most teams. Ripon Christian did that in the 2013-2014 season, and for the Knights it was an off year.
In this her 10th year in the Sierra volleyball program, Timberwolves coach Trinity Johnson is looking to improve on last year's 1-13 Valley Oak League record – 3-19 overall – and she is not afraid to think outside the box to do it.
The Manteca Futbol Club Flash under-12 girls soccer team might not have a flashy Northern California ranking, but that could soon change.
It is not often that a team has momentum after graduating its core players, but the East Union volleyball team is riding high going into this year's Valley Oak League campaign.
Justin Coenenberg is calling all former Buffaloes to reunite at Manteca High's Guss Schmiedt Field this Friday.
There are some new volleyball coaches west of I-5 this year. Stacia Stricker will assume the reins at Weston Ranch and Pamela Adams is the new coach at Lathrop.
Alyssa Burch, Beth Aschenbrenner, Mildred Perez and Chelsea Bruch were all freshmen during the 2011-2012 volleyball season.
Alex Hernandez slowed to a jog and eventually a brisk walk while running sprints with his Manteca High soccer teammates on Thursday.