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.
RIPON – Ripon Christian's varsity girls basketball team fought off every blowout attempt that visiting rival Ripon threw its way, yet the Knights could not fight off their second Trans Valley League loss to the Indians in a 60-46 defeat Tuesday.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans had one last opportunity to record their one and only win of the Valley Oak League season, but even a valiant fourth quarter effort could not help Lathrop earn its first victory in a season-ending 52-48 loss to East Union Tuesday.
Even with the Valley Oak League sophomore girls basketball title already wrapped up, Sonora High wants to close its season on a high note.
WESTON RANCH - East Union High heavyweight Devon Woodall's goals moving forward are simple.
Despite a relatively close halftime score, Weston Ranch-based George Komure School went to work in the second half of the Manteca Unified Student Trust championship boys championship basketball game, rolling to a 43-31 victory over Shasta School Friday at Sierra High.
Ernie Pimentel was the last of the Manteca High boys basketball players to hop off the ladder with a piece of history in hand.
SALIDA – Jazz Swanson shuffled through the locker room, shoes untied with an aw-shucks smile painted across his face.
The winter break has been anything but a break for Lathrop High's wrestling program.
Rod Wright has been waiting for a game like this from his young Ripon boys basketball team.
East Union won one rematch to get to another, but it may have to go without its top player in tonight's Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament quarterfinal.
Annie Banks has been playing on a tennis team for as long as she can remember, long before her brush with the Sierra High girls program.
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.