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.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
Sierra just missed out on having another finalist in the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament.
RIPON -Hilmar had the look of a team that had been there, done that in tight situations.
Weston Ranch clinched a second straight postseason berth with Monday's resounding 7-1 victory at Lathrop.
That stunning loss to Orestimba appears to be in the rear-view mirror for Ripon Christian.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.