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.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
Slow and steady didn't win the race this time.
STOCKTON - Manteca had a chance to clinch a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth with a victory over Weston Ranch Thursday, but the Cougars had different plans on Senior Night.
East Union could have easily thrown in the towel against Manteca Thursday after losing two five-set heartbreakers earlier this week that likely ruined its shot at a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth and a top-three finish in league.
RIPON – Ripon needed either a tie or win in order to stay atop the Trans Valley League standings and in the hunt for the school's first-ever boys soccer title Wednesday.
The Manteca volleyball team bounced back from a first-set loss Wednesday to win against Sierra 23-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-14, but the host Timberwolves did not make it easy.
Weston Ranch had it in it the bag.
STOCKTON - Converted forward Hector Maldonado was moved to the attack third because of his powerful and accurate striking ability, but it was his defensive instincts and hustle that helped Weston Ranch earn an important three points Tuesday.
The hangover effect from last week's loss in Oakdale led to a stunning loss for Sierra on Tuesday.
Sierra High will be represented in the Valley Oak Leagues Singles Tournament final for the fourth consecutive year.
It was a program-wide sweep for Ripon's volleyball team Tuesday night, which was capped by a 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 varsity win over visiting Hughson. The sophomore and freshman teams both won in two games.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
PATTERSON - All Brooke Riley and Jordan Vinson could think about was the shots they missed.
The road to the playoffs got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team Monday night, and the Lancers have Kimball's Samantha Sanders to thank for it.
RIPON - Ripon Christian finally met its match in the Southern League, and its impressive run of conference victories nearly met its end Monday night against pesky Turlock Christian.
There will be no more practice this season for the Ripon High freshman football team, because there is nobody left to beat.