There was a moment early in the first quarter where it actually looked like visiting Lathrop High stood a chance against Sierra in Tuesday's Valley Oak League contest.
The Ripon High boys basketball team failed to come out and execute to open the contest, but their resiliency shined through in a last-ditch effort to upset the Modesto Christian Crusaders, pouring in 30 fourth quarter points in a 76-62 loss to the Crusaders Tuesday in Salida.
RIPON - Most teams wouldn't nitpick over a 28-point victory.
Sonora High's girls basketball team just reintroduced itself to the Valley Oak League title race.
RIPON – The Turlock Christian Eagles came to visit Ripon Christian for a battle of the final two Southern League unbeatens, and when the brief stay was over the Eagles were the league's only undefeated squad after a 59-45 win over the Knights Tuesday.
The Weston Ranch sophomore girls basketball team continue to have its way in the Valley Oak League, remaining unblemished with a relatively easy 60-20 win over the Kimball Jaguars Tuesday in league play.
The contenders will separate themselves from the pretenders this week in the Valley Oak, Trans Valley and Southern leagues.
ESCALON – Aidan Foster made the most of his participation in the 24th Annual Lloyd Engel Wrestling Tournament, closing as the 152-pound champion and being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler of the upper-weights Saturday at Escalon High.
Kimball High already has itself a boys basketball team to be reckoned with, and that's without a senior class.
In a game that saw quality offense displayed in brief spurts, East Union senior Robert Vaughn had to convert on a pair of free throws in the game's final minute and he made good, sending the Oakdale Mustangs home with a 44-41 Valley Oak League defeat Friday at Dalben Center.
The first quarter put the Manteca High boys basketball team in a good position to depart from Sonora with a Valley Oak League win, but their fast start would not last a 46-42 league loss Friday.
LATHROP - The Spartans gave it their all Friday against visiting Weston Ranch.
Justin Patton scored half of the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team's 22 first-quarter points and ended up with a game-high19 points, helping the Timberwolves crush visiting Kimball 82-39 Friday.
Ripon High's boys basketball team didn't have too tough a challenge from the Hughson Huskies, and it showed in a 67-34 blowout Trans Valley League victory Friday in Ripon.
Without reigning Valley Oak League MVP Cassandra Clark and two other starters, Oakdale High's girls basketball team didn't have a chance against the conference's four-time defending champion.
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.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian may no longer be in the Southern League for basketball, but its growing rivalry with Mariposa lives on.
TRACY - Ryan Tarr had seen enough.
TRACY - With four reserves checking in at the scorer's table, Lathrop coach Nathan McGrath left them with one simple message:
Unhappy with his team's defensive effort in its last outing, Manteca coach Brett Lewis challenged the Buffaloes tighten things up for their first-round contest with Merced in the Running with the Pack Tournament held at Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove on Thursday.
East Union withstood a tremendous rally by visiting Ripon in the final minute, but the Indians couldn't take advantage of the extra chances created by five rebounds.