Much is at stake in the final week of the Valley Oak League girls basketball season.
Closing the Valley Oak League Wrestling Championships with a title in one of the 14 weight-classes was not the only way to find success in the tournament, and that was the case for nearly all of the 35 wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament with a fourth place or better finish.
The Ripon Indians sent 10 wrestlers to the mat during the Trans Valley League Wrestling Championships, and nine of the 10 earned berths into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with top-four finishes in Saturdays league championships.
RIPON - Rod Wright isn't one to point blame at the officials.
For a brief moment even the East Union boys basketball team may have had some doubt, but trailing by 18 in the third quarter East Union responded, putting together a 65-62 come-from-behind victory Friday in Valley Oak League play.
LATHROP – In a perfect world, the Lathrop High boys basketball team tactics to stop Sierra High post presence Will Ward would have forced his teammates to toss up perimeter jumpers they couldn't knock down. On Friday that wasn't the case, as the Timberwolves' back court connected on 13 3-pointers on their way to a 67-40 Valley Oak League win.
Weston Ranch scored 31 points in the second quarter on its way to an 81-57 walloping of first-year varsity Kimball High in Tracy Friday.
Ripon Christian High's boys basketball team played for the outright championship of the Southern League Friday in Ripon, and the game offered little drama.
Briona Fontenot played a big role in jump starting the East Union offense in the second half of Thursday's much-needed 52-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball payback win over visiting Sonora Thursday.
Daylynn Penner has been dedicated to the Sierra High softball program since she stepped foot on campus nearly four years ago. Penner's dedication paid off as she was awarded a partial scholarship to attend college at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and play softball at Southwestern Oregon Community College.
Earning points for the sake of the team is a thing of the past for the wrestlers in the Valley Oak Trans Valley Leagues. For the next match, each man is wrestling for himself, wrestling in hopes of extend their season for another week.
The Lathrop High boys opened the game clicking on all cylinders, jumping out to a double-digit lead after the first quarter, but it wouldn't last, as Sierra High found its groove in the second on its way to a 44-35 Valley Oak League win Thursday.
The result shows a rather ho-hum victory for Modesto Christian's powerhouse girls basketball team, which captured a piece of its fifth straight Trans Valley League championship by downing Ripon High 76-47 at home Thursday.
East Union High boys varsity basketball coach Brett Lewis applauded the effort of his reserves Wednesday against visiting Kimball High of Tracy.
The score may have indicated that the Oakdale Mustangs were a handful of shots away from giving the Sierra Timberwolves a Valley Oak League loss they could not afford, but that was far from the case in Sierra's 60-49 win Wednesday over the Mustangs.
RIPON – Billy Marr and Sean Broker have skill sets and smarts that have made small-school college coaches across the nation drool and reach deep into their scholarship funds.
Sierra scored more goals in four hours Friday than it did in six games through the first two weeks of the season.
Manteca High's softball team made quick work of its first two opponents in the Jackson Lions Club Tournament on Friday thanks to the stellar pitching of sophomore Haighley Kissee and an explosive offensive effort.
STOCKTON - Although Weston Ranch never led in Friday's 15-12 non-league loss to visiting Summerville, the Cougars bounced back to erase an eight-run deficit and then cut a six-run lead in half but could not erase it altogether.
East Union softball coach Brian Goulart called his three sophomore pitchers "heroes" after the Lancers held off defending Modesto Metro Conference champion Gregori 13-10 in its home opener Thursday at Northgate Softball Complex.
The Manteca baseball team knows how to turn things around.
Joshua Patton, Hunter Johnson and Devin Nunez graced the interview stage at Sleep Train Arena, the senior stalwarts each donning the signature blue cap reserved for a Sac-Joaquin Section champion.
Former Sierra High pitcher and U.S. national team member Allie Walljasper is making the "ol' college try" look far too easy.
Ripon overcame an early three-run deficit by scoring five in the fifth and held off visiting Hilmar 7-6 to complete the season sweep of the Yellow Jackets on Thursday.
RIPON - The season came to a halt Wednesday for the Ripon Christian girls as they fell to visiting San Domenico in the CIF Northern California Regional Championships.
Leah Manuleleua is settling in nicely as the Manteca High girls soccer team's new target forward.
The past three days have been an exercise of control and focus for Scott Thomason and his history-making Sierra High boys basketball team.
STOCKTON - Jaelen Ragsdale lingered around the bench, shuffling between handshakes, high-fives and hugs from appreciative Cougar fans.
PALO CEDRO - Manteca High and senior guard Marcus Montano came to play on Wednesday night and proved they belonged in the CIF NorCal Division III boys basketball tournament.
Lathrop softball pitcher Samantha Fonseca struck out four and doled out three hits in the Spartan's 16-2 shellacking of visiting Sonora in a nonleague contest Wednesday.