It was more than just the final match of a long Valley Oak League season, it was the final tune-up for both Sierra and Manteca high's going into Tuesday's VOL Championships at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves could have folded after falling behind early, but they hung tough and battled, falling to the Oakdale Mustangs 7-2 in Valley Oak League play Thursday.
LATHROP – After four attempts at getting in their makeup game, East Union and Lathrop finally met up and it was all Lancers in their 14-4 Valley Oak League sophomore softball win over the Spartans Thursday.
Usually when the Valley Oak League season ends and Sierra and Oakdale high's track and field programs prepare to do battle there is something worthwhile at stake. Nothing changed with this year's regular season finale, as Sierra was able to outshine Oakdale on three of the four levels of competition taking a trio of VOL championships Wednesday.
RIPON – Earlier in the season the Ripon Christian golf team dealt the Ripon Indians a difficult defeat, but the Indians were able to get a taste of revenge with their 218-242 Trans Valley League win over the Knights Wednesday at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club.
East Union High's golf team turned in exceptional round for the majority of the squads in the Valley Oak League, but its effort Wednesday was only good enough to stay close to the league leading Oakdale Mustangs in a 208-217 loss at Manteca Golf Course.
CERES - In what was a complete team effort, the Sierra Timberwolves made it a season sweep of the Ceres Bulldogs, winning their Wednesday Valley Oak League battle 6-4 to shake the league's foundation up even further.
With her future already locked up, there is one thing left on Manteca High Rileigh Mankin's to-do list to make her senior year even sweeter.
HUGHSON – With a single, a double and a triple already in the books, Ripon High's Jared Macedo calmly strolled to the plate and put the finishing touches on his cycle when he blasted a homerun in his final at bat of the Indians' 17-3 dismantling of Hughson High Wednesday in Trans Valley League play.
RIPON – A 6-0 result in the two club's first meeting was supposed to be the preface for Ripon Christian and Hughson High's final match up of the season, but the Knights had other intentions, battling Hughson to a 3-1 Trans Valley League loss Wednesday.
Usually after a few seasons of learning the ropes and fine-tuning their games, players hold the possibility of becoming one of the team's low scorers by the time their senior season rolls around. Nothing could be further from the case for Ripon High's Andrew Bonner and East Union's Will Brink, two of the area's standout freshman golfers.
CERES – An idle Manteca High squad left the Sierra Timberwolves all alone in first place of the Valley Oak League after Sierra's 3-0 win over the Ceres Bulldogs Tuesday.
The Sierra High baseball team's pivotal two-game set against Ceres ended in similar fashion to the way it started in Ceres Friday - with a loss, this time by an 8-7 margin in eighth innings Monday, and with too many runners left on base.
Oakdale pitcher Brianna Parker gave East Union a rare opportunity to score after booting Kourtni McCall's soft grounder to start the bottom of the seventh inning of Monday's battle for sole rights of first place in the Valley Oak League at Northgate Softball Complex.
RIPON - It was virtually two different games bunched up into one in the final regular-season meeting between Ripon Christian and host Ripon Monday.
Jim Agostini sauntered back into Winter Gymnasium alongside assistant coach Rick Marsh, and as the door closed behind them their East Union girls basketball team could be heard celebrating a much-needed 58-48 win over Manteca on Thursday.
RIPON - This night belonged to the Ripon High Indians.
Elisabeth Alexander found her stroke early and never lost it.
Sierra has a way of making ugly wins look good.
Rena Dragony emerged from a scrum beneath the basket with a smile and her pinkies pointed to the sky.
Sophomore guard Tre Simmons made five 3s and led all scorers with 23 points, as playoff-bound Weston Ranch rolled past visiting East Union 70-30 Wednesday.
With about six minutes left in the third quarter, Jim Agostini called a timeout and did something he rarely ever does.
STOCKTON - What a difference 10 minutes can make.
Riverbank worked its late-game magic yet again, and it helped the Bruins garner at least a share of the Trans-Valley League title Tuesday when they edged Ripon in overtime, 44-43.
RIPON - In a Trans-Valley League tilt between two guard-oriented teams, it was the two "bigs" who made all the difference for Ripon on Tuesday.
Tonight, Manteca High will play for much more than a share of first place in the Valley Oak League.
Lathrop High's Alex Garcia and Tristan Smith of Ripon are both rated No. 3 in their respective weight classes, according to The California Wrestler's Sac-Joaquin Section rankings.
Aysia Cortez of Venture/Excel Academy won the 126-pound championship Saturday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Invitational at McNair High in a thrilling 13-11 overtime match with Miranda Lamela of Pacheco-Los Banos.
Ripon High defeated visiting Modesto High on Saturday 35-20 in non-league girls' basketball action.
Garbage time does not apply to Sierra's boys basketball team.