Perhaps the ninth time will be the charm for Ripon High.
Effort wasn't the issue in Manteca and visiting Ripon's annual Foundation Game showdown Monday.
Twenty two-year-old Brett Lewis' debut as East Union High's varsity boys basketball head coach went smoothly.
RIPON – The Notre Dame Spirits fought valiantly to keep their 2009 season alive, but the Ripon Indians would have no such thing, finishing off the Spirits' season by winning in four in the CIF State Volleyball Championship semi-finals at Ripon High.
FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
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.