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 High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
Sierra's boys basketball team heads to Lathrop tonight coming off an impressive 71-46 drubbing of Weston Ranch.
Danny Vander Molen delivered a clutch 19-point performance Saturday, including the game's final five points that helped lift Ripon Christian over its cross-town rivals, 71-66.
Weston Ranch junior Andrew Olaya was the only Manteca Unified School District wrestler to bring home a Valley Oak League championship during the VOL Tournament in Sonora on Saturday.
Elisabeth Alexander helped set up Weston Ranch's winner-take-all Valley Oak League championship against Kimball Tracy on Tuesday.
Manteca exited the locker rooms at Winter Gym Friday night playing ball like there was a playoff spot on the line – which there was.
STOCKTON - Sierra High's Joshua Patton registered 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks and threw down a one-handed dunk in transition for the final points of the third quarter of Friday's 71-46 victory at Weston Ranch.
The Lathrop boys basketball team had a chance to clinch a playoff berth Friday night but came up short thanks to a last-second tip-in by host Kimball, which claimed a 69-67 Valley Oak League win with one game remaining in regular-season play.
East Union point guard Olivia Vezaldenos remained hot and put together a flashy performance during a 58-45 Valley Oak League victory over cross-town rival Manteca.
Three Buffalo greats will soon be roaming the Great Plains.
RIPON - If only every night was senior night for Ripon High's girls basketball team.
Weston Ranch forced 32 Sierra turnovers Thursday night, and despite having just eight players in uniform rolled to a 60-33 Valley Oak League girls basketball win over the host Timberwolves.
Michael Hatfield did it again.
Kyle Alexander has dabbled in many sports but appears to have found one he can stick to for the rest of his life.
Weston Ranch broke open a tie game Wednesday night with a 13-0 run that started late in the first quarter against host East Union, and the Cougars were not threatened again in a 71-57 Valley Oak League win at Dalben Center.
Lathrop left little doubt in its 65-34 drubbing of visiting Oakdale on Wednesday night.