ROCKLIN – Twenty-eight area wrestlers advanced beyond Day 1 of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and V Tournaments Friday, either going undefeated and qualifying for today's championship semifinals or winning two out of three matches and qualifying for the consolation bracket.
SALIDA – With the absence of powerhouse forward Reeves Nelson – serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected from Tuesday's game against Ripon Ron Vander Nolen had a lot of reasons to think that his Ripon Christian Knights stood a chance at slaying undefeated Trans Valle League champion Modesto Christian.
It was all about business Wednesday night at Winter Gym where Manteca avenged its only Valley Oak League blemish of the season with a workman-like 59-52 win over Sonora.
The last time a Manteca High boys basketball team tore down the nets at Winter Gym, its current coaching staff was in grade school.
CERES - The playoffs seemed a certainty for Weston Ranch as recently as a week ago, but thanks to a shocking 47-40 loss to Ceres Wednesday night, it now appears that the Cougars will need a little help to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason.
Eric Godfrey scored 10 of his game-high 17 in the first quarter as the Manteca sophomore boys basketball team raced out to a 13-5 lead and cruised to a 52-45 win.
Two weeks ago, Manteca's boys basketball team hosted in-town adversary Sierra and won a 73-69 overtime thriller to take the outright lead in the race for the Valley Oak League championship.
Considering East Union claimed at least a share of its third-straight Valley Oak League championship with a 61-39 blowout of Oakdale Tuesday night, the senior night postgame atmosphere inside Dalben Center was surprisingly subdued.
SONORA – Sharon Washington continued her recent tear, scoring 22 points, and Davina Bennett added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but costly turnovers down the stretch were too much for Manteca to overcome in a 54-46 loss to Sonora.
RIPON - Perhaps it wasn't an upset after all.
RIPON - The Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs don't tip off until next week, but the postseason has already begun for Ripon.
WESTON RANCH – The Lathrop High sophomore girls basketball team finished its first Valley Oak League season at 8-8 with a 39-27 win over Weston Ranch Monday night.
CERES – The plotlines were plentiful Saturday at Central Valley High, the site of this season's Valley Oak League wrestling championships.
HUGHSON - As all wrestling coaches know, timing is everything.
WESTON RANCH - It was a 32-minute passing-of-the-torch ceremony, but defending Valley Oak League champion Weston Ranch didn't give up that torch so easily.
The Lathrop boys basketball team had a chance to clinch a playoff berth Friday night but came up short thanks to a last-second tip-in by host Kimball, which claimed a 69-67 Valley Oak League win with one game remaining in regular-season play.
East Union point guard Olivia Vezaldenos remained hot and put together a flashy performance during a 58-45 Valley Oak League victory over cross-town rival Manteca.
Three Buffalo greats will soon be roaming the Great Plains.
RIPON - If only every night was senior night for Ripon High's girls basketball team.
Weston Ranch forced 32 Sierra turnovers Thursday night, and despite having just eight players in uniform rolled to a 60-33 Valley Oak League girls basketball win over the host Timberwolves.
Michael Hatfield did it again.
Kyle Alexander has dabbled in many sports but appears to have found one he can stick to for the rest of his life.
Weston Ranch broke open a tie game Wednesday night with a 13-0 run that started late in the first quarter against host East Union, and the Cougars were not threatened again in a 71-57 Valley Oak League win at Dalben Center.
Lathrop left little doubt in its 65-34 drubbing of visiting Oakdale on Wednesday night.
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.