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.
Sierra begins its Valley Oak League title defense tonight against visiting Oakdale.
In a word - balanced.
STOCKTON – The battle for second place Saturday at Stagg High School's Demolition Day Wrestling Tournament came down to the 285-pound bout between East Union's Michael Villanueva and Sierra's David Saenz. Villanueva got the pin to get the Lancers second place by a point and he was awarded the outstanding heavyweight wrestler award.
Mark Paule Jr. burst onto the scene with seven touchdowns in a season-opening victory at Ripon High, and then never let off the gas.
Ruby Daube stepped up big for East Union once again.
With its bigs slowed by foul trouble, Sierra looked to its guards to end its pre-league schedule on a high note Friday at Tokay.
On multiple occasions this past fall season, Dani Erdelatz and some of her Ripon Christian teammates acknowledged that the 2014 Knights lacked the star power of their predecessors.
STOCKTON – His name is Joseph Mayorca, but the Weston Ranch midfielder's grandmother calls him "Yo-Yo" and it's easy to see why.
TRACY - Jim Agostini burned his final timeout with 1:33 left in regulation, hoping to get his East Union girls basketball team one last breather.
STOCKTON - The Sierra High put together a total team effort to claim the Adidas Trojan Christmas Classic Tuesday at Lincoln High.
Ripon Christian defended its own court and tournament title with, well, hard-nosed defense.
TRACY - For a quarter-plus in Tuesday's Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament consolation-bracket final, Manteca showed how much it has improved since its season opener a little more than three weeks ago.
One awkward finish on Monday led to another on Tuesday at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic.
Weston Ranch busted out of the halftime break with a 6-0 spurt and didn't look back in a 64-46 win over International in the West Coast Jamboree Coral Division consolation championship at Antioch's Deer Valley High School.
STOCKTON - Joshua Patton stood head and shoulders above the competition on Monday.