Perhaps the ninth time will be the charm for Ripon High.
Effort wasn't the issue in Manteca and visiting Ripon's annual Foundation Game showdown Monday.
Twenty two-year-old Brett Lewis' debut as East Union High's varsity boys basketball head coach went smoothly.
RIPON – The Notre Dame Spirits fought valiantly to keep their 2009 season alive, but the Ripon Indians would have no such thing, finishing off the Spirits' season by winning in four in the CIF State Volleyball Championship semi-finals at Ripon High.
FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
The future of girls Valley Oak League basketball was on display Tuesday night at Sierra High School with two sophomores accounting for 68 points in a thrilling 61-56 win for visiting East Union over the Timberwolves.
Weston Ranch's girls basketball team officially clinched a playoff berth for a sixth straight year Tuesday night with a 67-40 rout at Manteca, but the Cougars are looking to raise the bar for the program.
The Lathrop High girls basketball team doesn't have a playoff run to look forward to, but it isn't going out without a fight.
At this point last year and the 23 before that, coaches were busy crunching numbers to see where their teams could potentially land in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
It had been known for weeks that Ripon Christian was going to secure the outright Southern League championship without much resistance.
STOCKTON – Sierra jumped out to a quick but not-so comfortable lead thanks to three early forfeits Saturday during the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Team Dual Championships at Lincoln High.
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.