With the Valley Oak League championship already annexed by Manteca High's girls basketball team, the buzz surrounding its anticipated regular-season showdown with rival East Union took a little bit of a hit.
WESTON RANCH - With Sac-Joaquin Section postseason positioning at stake, intensity was not a problem for Weston Ranch and Sierra's girls basketball teams Thursday in their Valley Oak League finale.
RIPON - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
Sharon Washington leapt off the bench with a smile plastered on her face.
A 3-pointer at the end of regulation looked like the shot that would usher senior Morgan Hulsebosch into hero status, but Emoni Wilson and the Weston Ranch Cougars had other plans in a 68-64 overtime win Tuesday over East Union High.
The first group of seniors took its final bow in front of the home crowd for Lathrop High's girls basketball team Tuesday.
RIPON - Coach Ron Vander Molen is looking for more consistency from his Ripon Christian High boys varsity basketball squad as the regular season winds down.
Willie Herrera no longer considers himself an honorary member of the Lancer family.
Much is at stake in the final week of the Valley Oak League girls basketball season.
Closing the Valley Oak League Wrestling Championships with a title in one of the 14 weight-classes was not the only way to find success in the tournament, and that was the case for nearly all of the 35 wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament with a fourth place or better finish.
The Ripon Indians sent 10 wrestlers to the mat during the Trans Valley League Wrestling Championships, and nine of the 10 earned berths into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with top-four finishes in Saturdays league championships.
RIPON - Kristen Maestretti was rewarded for her effort.
For the better part of three quarters, the Turlock crowd did their best to unlock the mystery of Anand Hundal, Manteca's 6-foot-8 junior center.
East Union expected Bear Creek to come out winging its best punches and got exactly that in a nonleague contest at Dalben Center on Tuesday.
There were moments when East Union coach Jim Agostini had to remind himself that little, if anything, was on the line during Tuesday's reunion with Sonora at Bud Castle Gym.
Rubel Dehal and Elizabeth Tolbert had clean looks at the basket in attempts to force an overtime period, but both of their shots rimmed out in Manteca's 43-40 loss to visiting Laguna Creek on Monday.
LATHROP - Lathrop managed only five first-period points Monday and never recovered in a 72-46 loss to visiting Beyer-Modesto in non-league boys basketball action.
Tournament host Ripon made a run in the third quarter and would not close the gap in losing to Cosumnes Oaks 58-42 in the championship game of the girls Ripon Winter Classic on Saturday.
Ripon finished tied for sixth place with Buhach Colony on Saturday in the 22-team field of the Morning Star Invitational at Los Banos High School.
After two big swings in the second half Saturday tournament host Ripon managed a layup with a minute left and held on over Bret Harte 63-62 for the championship of the boys Ripon winter Classic.
Weston Ranch is heading to the championship game in one of the Central Section's most prestigious tournaments.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian may no longer be in the Southern League for basketball, but its growing rivalry with Mariposa lives on.
TRACY - Ryan Tarr had seen enough.
TRACY - With four reserves checking in at the scorer's table, Lathrop coach Nathan McGrath left them with one simple message: