There were moments when East Union coach Jim Agostini had to remind himself that little, if anything, was on the line during Tuesday's reunion with Sonora at Bud Castle Gym.
Rubel Dehal and Elizabeth Tolbert had clean looks at the basket in attempts to force an overtime period, but both of their shots rimmed out in Manteca's 43-40 loss to visiting Laguna Creek on Monday.
LATHROP - Lathrop managed only five first-period points Monday and never recovered in a 72-46 loss to visiting Beyer-Modesto in non-league boys basketball action.
Tournament host Ripon made a run in the third quarter and would not close the gap in losing to Cosumnes Oaks 58-42 in the championship game of the girls Ripon Winter Classic on Saturday.
Ripon finished tied for sixth place with Buhach Colony on Saturday in the 22-team field of the Morning Star Invitational at Los Banos High School.
After two big swings in the second half Saturday tournament host Ripon managed a layup with a minute left and held on over Bret Harte 63-62 for the championship of the boys Ripon winter Classic.
Weston Ranch is heading to the championship game in one of the Central Section's most prestigious tournaments.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian may no longer be in the Southern League for basketball, but its growing rivalry with Mariposa lives on.
TRACY - Ryan Tarr had seen enough.
TRACY - With four reserves checking in at the scorer's table, Lathrop coach Nathan McGrath left them with one simple message:
Unhappy with his team's defensive effort in its last outing, Manteca coach Brett Lewis challenged the Buffaloes tighten things up for their first-round contest with Merced in the Running with the Pack Tournament held at Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove on Thursday.
East Union withstood a tremendous rally by visiting Ripon in the final minute, but the Indians couldn't take advantage of the extra chances created by five rebounds.
FRESNO – Jaelen Ragsdale scored 25 points to lead four players in double figures as the Weston Ranch boys basketball team cruised to victory in the opening round of the Holiday Invitational Tournament.
George Contente looked at West Campus and Colfax as potential opponents first round opponents for his Ripon High girls basketball team.
Midway through the season, East Union was languishing in the middle of the pack, searching for a foothold in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff chase.
LATHROP – Captain Yaneli Avila is revered for her quiet leadership on the soccer field.
STOCKTON – For the Weston Ranch boys basketball team, the season will finish just as it began – on the road.
Scott Thomason broke from tradition at the start of the basketball season.
Manteca boys basketball coach Brett Lewis feels like the bounces are going the Buffaloes' way as of late.
Daniel Ruiz made five straight free throws in the final minute, 30 seconds, helping host Golden West edge previously-undefeated Sequoia 48-47 in Tuesday's thrilling Manteca Unified Student Trust small-school boys basketball championship game.
The Manteca girls basketball team's stumble to the finish line ultimately cost it a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
LATHROP - Dylan Gross scored 11 of his game-high 13 points in the second half to lead the Woodward Mustangs to a 43-36 win over the Mossdale Jaguars on Tuesday in the Manteca Unified Student Trust Large School Boys Basketball Championship at Mossdale School.
Sierra is the boys Valley Oak League basketball champion for the fourth time in as many years, and as a result of Tuesday's 84-48 thumping of visiting Lathrop the Timberwolves are a perfect 14-0 for the second time in that same stretch.
Four Ripon players were recognized on senior night Tuesday, and they had more reason to celebrate following the Indians' 36-27 triumph over Escalon.
Anand Hundal once again came up short of his first career triple-double in Manteca High's 69-37 shellacking of visiting Oakdale in a regular-season finale Tuesday.
East Union is peaking at just the right time.
RIPON - Rod Wright could sense this loss was coming.
RIPON - Ripon Christian players jumped off their seats on the sideline and joined the five Knights on the court to celebrate their clinching of the Trans-Valley League outright title Friday night.