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.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
STOCKTON - Anand Hundal narrowly missed a triple-double for a second game in a row, but on Thursday it was Manteca's guards who stood tallest in a 70-59 win at Weston Ranch.
Sierra led East Union by 11 points at halftime and then silenced the partisan Dalben Center crowd with a 24-11 third quarter on the way to an 82-43 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Lathrop's season-long struggles continued at Central Catholic on Thursday.
Brijanee Moore made her anticipated debut with the Weston Ranch girls basketball team Wednesday.
Sierra made its first Valley Oak League match of the season a short one.
ESCALON - Escalon appears to be the class of the Trans-Valley League once again.
Ripon Christian had one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top teams on the ropes by halftime, but that was DeAndre Stallings' cue to take over for Liberty Ranch.
No practice was as big as Tuesday's session for East Union.
The Sierra High boys basketball team has a 6-foot, 8-inch, rim-rocking, shot-blocking star.
LATHROP - Anand Hundal will probably be on time for practice from now on.
Chris Teevan joked that he might need a search party to find the Weston Ranch boys basketball team's home jerseys.
Kimball put its best defender on East Union's best shooter on the final play of Tuesday's Valley Oak League opener at Dalben Center.
It's not just about what Manteca High's baseball team accomplished, but how it went about doing so.
Sierra begins its Valley Oak League title defense tonight against visiting Oakdale.
In a word - balanced.