Twenty two-year-old Brett Lewis' debut as East Union High's varsity boys basketball head coach went smoothly.
RIPON – The Notre Dame Spirits fought valiantly to keep their 2009 season alive, but the Ripon Indians would have no such thing, finishing off the Spirits' season by winning in four in the CIF State Volleyball Championship semi-finals at Ripon High.
FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Not this time.
The Ripon Christian boys basketball team overcame Turlock Christian's considerable size advantage for a second time with Tuesday's commanding 64-51 triumph.
RIPON - Amber Hilvers searched for the words, trying her hardest not to sound disrespectful.
All that matters is who leads at the end. For the Ripon Christian girls' basketball team, that is a good thing.
Lathrop junior Isaiah Ellis put on a show in front of the home crowd Friday night.
In a game that featured a head-to-head showdown between the Valley Oak League's two best senior post players, it was the guards who made the difference.
Weston Ranch put Friday's Valley Oak League ball game against Sierra solely in the hands of standout sophomore Jaelen Ragsdale.
Don't let the records fool you.
RIPON – Tiana Chacon has been an All-Trans Valley League first-team third baseman the past two seasons.
Jan. 15 seems so long ago for Sierra's girls basketball team.
The last time East Union and Oakdale got together, the Lancers' head coach Jim Agostini referred to it as one of the hardest losses the program has experienced.
Weston Ranch punctuated the game with a 9-0 run and avoided an upset loss at Lathrop 63-52 on Thursday.
By JAMES BURNS
Mikey Villanueva was down and almost out during Wednesday's Valley Oak League double dual at Dalben Center.
Sierra is going to the show.