SALIDA – The Manteca Buffaloes wanted to close out its non-league schedule in the always-challenging Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic for a reason and its 81-68 win over San Leandro High got things going in the right direction.
TRACY – The East Union Lancers were the defending champions of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Basketball Tournament, but that did not help the squad in this season's tournament opener, dropping their first round game 47-46 to the Linden Lions.
Braian Gomez's strength as a leader also served as a weakness.
With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.
ELK GROVE – The Ripon Indians had to conquer a double-overtime mountain to get to the Consumnes Oaks Tournament championship, but beating undefeated Argonaut High for the title was not in the plans as Ripon dropped the finale 59-32 Wednesday.
Sierra High standouts Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni put together a season that left the Valley Oak League's doubles teams in an unfair position of knowing they were going to lose.
Not even the running clock in the fourth quarter could slow down the Manteca Buffaloes, who trampled Buhach Colony of Atwater 76-31 Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
ELK GROVE – Sierra High held a slim three-point halftime lead, but opened the second half focused and pulled away from the Lathrop Spartans 50-32 during consolation bracket action in the Consumnes Oaks Tournament Tuesday.
MERCED – The Sierra Timberwolves were able to get another solid performance outside from Trevor Nogueira and cruised to a non-league victory over the host Golden Valley Eagles.
WATERFORD - Lathrop High continued its successful preseason run through the junior varsity circuit Saturday in the Wingo Tournament.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League's individual title, lead Sierra's proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.
ELK GROVE - First-year varsity Cosumnes Oaks got visiting Ripon's attention early by taking an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
Amber Parker may or may not have been the best female runner at Sierra High during the cross country season.
RIPON – Despite scoring more points in the game's fourth quarter than they did in the entire first half, the Ripon Christian Knights simply couldn't overcome an early deficit to the visiting Linden Lions.
SAN JOSE – It might be early, but things are looking good for the Sierra High School wrestling program.
STOCKTON - Allie Walljasper struck out 14 in six innings, Julie Deanda and Maddie Penner each rapped two-run hits and Devi Coglio legged out a home run in Sierra's 8-0 win at Weston Ranch on Friday.
Manteca has finally broken though against Kimball, already a Valley Oak League powerhouse in just its fourth season as a varsity club.
Through the years, the Ripon-Hilmar girls soccer rivalry has been the stuff of legend – tug-o-wars for league championships and dramatic playoff matches.
Ripon won four out of the five doubles matches at Riverbank and returned home with a 5-4 victory and their perfect Trans-Valley League record still intact.
East Union showed no ill effects from a lineup change in Wednesday's 8-1 Valley Oak League victory at Sierra, claiming all but the No. 3 doubles match.
One streak has ended while another continues for Sierra.
New program records were set by Lathrop High's girls soccer team Thursday.
Things are looking up for East Union with the return of Nick Roundsville to the roster.
It was a tighter meet than Rick Cuevas had anticipated, but the end result was more or less what Manteca High's first-year track and field coach expected.
RIPON - The Ripon High enjoyed near-perfect baseball conditions on Wednesday.
The Sierra High boys and girls swim teams improved to 2-0 in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday after topping crosstown rival East Union. The boys won 95-74, while the girls triumphed handily, 114-55.
Sydnee Canales and Leah Manuleleua bumped and banged, pushed and shoved, jostling for every ball that traveled through the middle of the field.
Matt Rose edged out Justin Morrish by a stroke for low-medalist honors, but the team scores weren't as close.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
Defending champion Kimball proved to be the team to beat once again in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday, but the gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the field doesn't appear to be as wide as it was in 2013.