HILMAR - The fun is just beginning for Ripon High's semifinalists in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament.
WESTON RANCH – With only 3.2 seconds remaining and the Sierra Timberwolves clutching onto a one-point lead, Weston Ranch senior Nate Moises strolled to the line with an opportunity to be a hero.
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 advanced to the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals last week, its longest postseason run since the 1987 team claimed the program's only blue pennant.
Chase McKee and Darrel Clemons are North Dakota-bound.
Lathrop capped its Spartan Tournament on Saturday with a thrilling 8-7 win in eight innings over Chavez-Stockton at Lathrop High.
SACRAMENTO - With 23 seconds left and victory safely in hand, Scott Thomason reared back and howled toward the rafters at Sleep Train Arena.
SACRAMENTO - After trailing by 14 points midway through the fourth quarter, Ripon Christian valiantly battled back to within six points with 1:02 left in the game on Jessica Van Vliet's free throw, but the Knights would not score again and lost 52-43 to Capital Christian-Sacramento in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship game at Sleep Train Arena.
SACRAMENTO - What a difference a decade and a half makes.
BASKERSFIELD - If anybody would have asked Ripon heavyweight state qualifier Tristan Smith if he was ever hurt during the state tournament he would probably say no.
The Manteca High girls soccer team opened its 7th Annual Buffalo Cup with two blowout victories at Woodward Park.
Manteca lost its second game in as many days Friday, but head coach Neil MacDannald is nowhere close to hitting the panic button.
Manteca High's boys tennis team didn't get the desired results during the first day of the California Classic at Fresno City College, but coach Frank Fontana believes the experience alone will pay off in the long run.
The Cinderella of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs is still dancing, but Chris Teevan insists there is nothing magical about his ninth-seeded Weston Ranch boys basketball team's ride to the championship round.
Lathrop head coach Gabe Padilla decided to start his best player on the attacking third not necessarily to get more scoring production, but to allow her to put less stress on a strained quad.
From the start of the season, the rhetoric surrounding the Sierra and Weston Ranch boys basketball teams was consistent.
Ed Mulder is still pinching himself.
Late tonight, the 1987 Manteca High boys basketball team will finally have some company.