With only 2.6 seconds left on the clock and down by two points, the East Union Lancers found themselves in the unique position of beating the Valley Oak League's best team at Manteca High's sold out Winter Gym.
ESCALON - Four-year varsity player Matt Ratto surpassed 2006 Ripon High graduate Nathan Clark on the program's all-time career scoring list Friday, but it was a bittersweet end to his and the Indians' regular season.
Wayne Cheung and the rest of the East Union High sophomore boys basketball team gave the Lancer faithful one last reason to be encouraged for the future of the varsity squad Friday.
Unborn and still nameless, Andrea Hiatt's baby boy did mommy a big favor by holding out past his due date of Feb. 14 for Thursday's big game against crosstown rival East Union.
All of the extra batting sessions, fielding drills and even the blisters on her hands have finally paid off for East Union High senior Cherie DeJesus. She signed her letter of intent to become a student-athlete for Central Arizona College Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls basketball team did its part.
RIPON - While powerhouse Modesto Christian capped yet another dominant run through the Trans Valley League for its fourth straight title, Ripon High's girls basketball team can find solace in going undefeated against the rest of the conference's opposition.
After narrowly losing to Valley Oak League sophomore girls champion Sonora at home Tuesday, Manteca moved into a second-place tie with rival East Union with its season-ending 40-24 on the Squires' home floor Thursday.
SONORA – With just under two minutes to play, Gerry Cooper calmly sank a pair of free throws to push the Manteca High varsity basketball team up by two and the Buffaloes would hold off Sonora High for a 68-64 Valley Oak League win Wednesday.
Alex Nuanez's march for redemption continues Friday and Saturday with the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament at East Union High.
Tyler Bylow was one of six seniors to take the court for the East Union Lancers on senior night, but Bylow shined brightest with a huge 22-point effort against the winless Lathrop Spartans in a 64-41 Valley Oak League win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
CERES – Bret Wilson led a balanced Sierra High scoring attack in its Valley Oak League win over the Central Valley Hawks Wednesday.
There is much more than bragging rights riding on Thursday's rubber match with rival East Union.
Manteca High's boys basketball team stretched its first-place lead while clinching its second straight Valley Oak League championship by beating second-place Sierra 66-49 Friday, but that did not improve its position on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff power ratings.
RIPON - Ripon Christian had the right guy at the right spot with the game still on the line with 3 seconds left against host Ripon.
STOCKTON – Weston Ranch senior Alyssa Cantu will be making her third straight trip to the state tournament.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch was able to limit Manteca High center Michael Hatfield this time around, but the Cougars had no answer for the Buffaloes' two best guards.
Victoria Burke could likely make Sierra High history today.
Lathrop trailed by as much as 10 in the third quarter at Sonora but came back to squeak out a well-earned 64-58 victory Friday night.
LATHROP – Nick McGill came through in the clutch during Thursday's Valley Oak League finale between East Union and Lathrop.
Sierra was one of the tougher and more talented squads in the Valley Oak League this year.
East Union's girls basketball team was making it a habit to start games sluggishly this season.
Senior night did little to distract Weston Ranch's girls basketball team Thursday night.
Ripon has been competitive for most of the season but doesn't have the wins to show it.
Ben Juarez knocked down a jump shot to give Kimball its first lead in the second half with 22 seconds left in Wednesday's crucial Valley Oak League contest at Manteca High's Winter Gym.
With four games left in the regular season, the Sierra Timberwolves appear well on their way towards an outright Valley Oak League title.
LATHROP - After surviving seven lead changes and four ties, host Lathrop ended the first half on a 7-0 run and outscored East Union 22-9 in the third quarter on the way to a 64-48 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Isela Rivera isn't concerned so much about her place in East Union girls soccer lore, though there have been few as productive as the senior striker.
Having battled back from a 21-point deficit to visiting Lathrop and leading by one with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Manteca's Jessica Hasal penetrated to the key and then dished out to Allison Rachels on the perimeter. Rachels threw up a 3-pointer and by the time it bounced off the glass and through the net she was picking herself up off the floor with the Buffaloes on the way to a thrilling 54-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball victory at Winter Gymnasium.
STOCKTON - With no true post players on his team, Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer has challenged the two tallest to be more of a presence in the paint.