WESTON RANCH – During a timeout with 3:08 remaining and Manteca clinging to a four-point lead, the Buffaloes and host Weston Ranch went over what it would take to close out their physical Valley Oak League matchup with a win.
The challenge was daunting for the Sierra girls varsity basketball team having to take on the defending three-time Valley Oak League champion on East Union's home court in the third conference game of the week.
The Valley Oak League race for the championship has begun.
SUMMERVILLE – Trailing by double digits after the first eight minutes of action did not rattle Ripon's focus, as it bounced back with a strong second quarter on its way to a 52-45 win over the Summerville Bears Friday.
The Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team won another tightly-contested struggle Friday, holding off visiting East Union 56-54 to remain undefeated in the opening week of the Valley Oak League season.
Different Manteca Buffaloes took turns carrying the load.
It's tough to dig up positives from a 40-32 loss, but Sierra High's girls basketball team gave coach Steve Unterholzner reason to remain upbeat Thursday following a thrilling start to the Valley Oak League season.
SONORA - The East Union Lancers traveled to Sonora and made the trip worthwhile with a 53-45 win over the Wildcats Thursday in Valley Oak League action.
Trailing by nearly double digits midway through the fourth, Sierra High's sophomore girls basketball team fired back to steal a 38-35 victory over visiting Ceres. It marked the first win of the season for the Timberwolves (1-1 Valley Oak League overall).
Everything appeared to be in place for the East Union Lancers as they traded shots with the visiting Sonora Wildcats Wednesday night at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High knows they are flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves are not flying high after their 67-52 win over the Ceres Bulldogs keeps Sierra atop of the Valley Oak League standings after Wednesday's contests.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but they had no idea their Valley Oak League opener would end with a 51-21 and a 64-9 loss to Ceres and Oakdale highs Wednesday.
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.
STOCKTON – Weston Ranch senior Alyssa Cantu will be making her third straight trip to the state tournament.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch was able to limit Manteca High center Michael Hatfield this time around, but the Cougars had no answer for the Buffaloes' two best guards.
Victoria Burke could likely make Sierra High history today.
Lathrop trailed by as much as 10 in the third quarter at Sonora but came back to squeak out a well-earned 64-58 victory Friday night.
LATHROP – Nick McGill came through in the clutch during Thursday's Valley Oak League finale between East Union and Lathrop.
Sierra was one of the tougher and more talented squads in the Valley Oak League this year.
East Union's girls basketball team was making it a habit to start games sluggishly this season.
Senior night did little to distract Weston Ranch's girls basketball team Thursday night.
Ripon has been competitive for most of the season but doesn't have the wins to show it.
Ben Juarez knocked down a jump shot to give Kimball its first lead in the second half with 22 seconds left in Wednesday's crucial Valley Oak League contest at Manteca High's Winter Gym.
With four games left in the regular season, the Sierra Timberwolves appear well on their way towards an outright Valley Oak League title.
LATHROP - After surviving seven lead changes and four ties, host Lathrop ended the first half on a 7-0 run and outscored East Union 22-9 in the third quarter on the way to a 64-48 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Isela Rivera isn't concerned so much about her place in East Union girls soccer lore, though there have been few as productive as the senior striker.
Having battled back from a 21-point deficit to visiting Lathrop and leading by one with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Manteca's Jessica Hasal penetrated to the key and then dished out to Allison Rachels on the perimeter. Rachels threw up a 3-pointer and by the time it bounced off the glass and through the net she was picking herself up off the floor with the Buffaloes on the way to a thrilling 54-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball victory at Winter Gymnasium.
STOCKTON - With no true post players on his team, Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer has challenged the two tallest to be more of a presence in the paint.