Just a short time ago, the Weston Ranch boys basketball squad was the premier team in the Valley Oak League, and the Lathrop Spartans were opening the gym for the hoops program for the very first time. After failing to reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Cougars are poised to get back to the top of the league, whereas as Lathrop will be working through the exodus of one of its better players.
To be the champs, Ripon Christian's volleyball team must go through the champs.
Manteca and Sierra believe they have what it takes to make a run at the Valley Oak League championship this year.
Earning back-to-back outright championships in the Valley Oak League didn't come easily for Manteca High, and that was with dazzling point guard Kiwi Gardner setting gym floors ablaze.
The setters of the top teams in the Trans Valley and Southern leagues were voted the Most Valuable Players of each conference.
RIPON - The Knights didn't want to be one and done in this year's CIF State Northern California Division V volleyball championship tournament.
RIPON - It's an overused cliché, but the Ripon-St. Helena first-round match in the CIF State Northern California Division IV Championships Tuesday was truly played out like a heavyweight title bout.
In some ways, Ripon High volleyball coach Larry Keethe sees his team as an underdog despite its No. 1 ranking in the CIF Division IV State Championships, which begins today with Round 1 of the NorCal playoffs.
The Valley Oak League season saw the Sonora Wildcats and Oakdale Mustangs have their way along the schedule, but standout play from the other squads didn't go unrecognized, as the VOL's 2010 all-league team was recently announced.
The additions of Hilmar and Orestimba made the Trans Valley League even tougher Ripon High this year, and that was reflected in the all-conference selections.
DAVIS - The streak came to a halt for Ripon High varsity volleyball team.
DAVIS - They proudly held up four fingers.
One streak could continue, while another could come to an end.
A prophecy was fulfilled and a dream came true Monday for Cassie Waggy.
Continuing into college was the end-result goal of St. Mary's High's senior Jessica Burdge's plan entering high school four years ago, and that result became reality when Burdge signed her National Letter of Intent to play water polo for Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y.
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.
SALIDA - As far as measuring sticks go, the Chavez boys basketball team gave Weston Ranch very little to work with.
Mahir Pepic may never know just how good he can be.
RIPON – Head coach Ed Mulder doesn't have the luxury of a Teagan Manus to steady and steer the Ripon Christian girls basketball team.
Ron Vander Molen expects the road to get rougher in the coming week, but for now he and the Ripon Christian boys basketball team are enjoying the ride.
East Union bounced back from its first loss of the season and will play for fifth place in the Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament today.
Ripon didn't have to wait long to exact revenge against Sierra, though both teams had to travel farther for the rematch.
Hunter Johnson led Sierra to a 59-37 quarterfinal win over Edison-Stockton to open the Adidas Trojan Christmas Classic boys basketball tournament Saturday at Lincoln High in Stockton.
For most of her first two years running for the Weston Ranch cross country team, sophomore Iris Carillo was chasing more seasoned and accomplished harriers from Manteca.
Tournament co-host Tracy managed two more points in the fourth quarter than East Union did and that was enough as the Bulldogs pulled out a 50-49 quarterfinal victory in the Tom Hawkins Girls Basketball Tournament on Saturday in front of a raucous crowd at Swenson Gym.
Ohio State is calling.