CARMICHAEL - Duplicating a dramatic finish for victory isn't as easy as it's made out to be.
STOCKTON – The Gabby Hawkins era got off to a sterling start Friday at Edison High as Sierra's junior ace struck out 11 and missed a perfect game by a single base on balls in a 4-0 Timberwolf win.
DELHI - Abigail Rosas assisted the only goal in Manteca High's 1-0 victory over Delhi, but it was the work of her and the rest of the defensive back line that impressed first-year coach Justin Coenenberg Friday.
ROCKLIN – The remarkable story that is Marco Castaneda's 2008-09 wrestling season grew even more impressive Saturday at Whitney High as East Union's 119-pounder won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship with a 19-16 win over Whitney's Jordan Achanzar.
OLIVEHURST – There may not be a better rivalry in Sac-Joaquin Section Division V wrestling than the one at 171 pounds, where Ripon's Ryan Mackey and Escalon's Charlie McDonald have battled the past two years for Trans Valley League and D-V supremacy.
It's a new year for Manteca under new head coach Gene Ballardo, but the Buffaloes are still the same scrappy baseball team.
East Union had nothing to lose but played to win.
Sierra High won its 20th game of the season Friday night, a 57-38 handling of Weston Ranch at home.
After starting the season 2-2, the East Union freshman boys basketball team rolled off 21 straight wins, including all 16 Valley Oak League contests, to claim the VOL crown.
ROCKLIN – Twenty-eight area wrestlers advanced beyond Day 1 of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and V Tournaments Friday, either going undefeated and qualifying for today's championship semifinals or winning two out of three matches and qualifying for the consolation bracket.
SALIDA – With the absence of powerhouse forward Reeves Nelson – serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected from Tuesday's game against Ripon Ron Vander Nolen had a lot of reasons to think that his Ripon Christian Knights stood a chance at slaying undefeated Trans Valle League champion Modesto Christian.
It was all about business Wednesday night at Winter Gym where Manteca avenged its only Valley Oak League blemish of the season with a workman-like 59-52 win over Sonora.
The last time a Manteca High boys basketball team tore down the nets at Winter Gym, its current coaching staff was in grade school.
CERES - The playoffs seemed a certainty for Weston Ranch as recently as a week ago, but thanks to a shocking 47-40 loss to Ceres Wednesday night, it now appears that the Cougars will need a little help to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason.
Eric Godfrey scored 10 of his game-high 17 in the first quarter as the Manteca sophomore boys basketball team raced out to a 13-5 lead and cruised to a 52-45 win.
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.
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.