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.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
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.