If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
RIPON – Ripon drew first blood during Wednesday's Trans Valley League matchup against its visiting rival Escalon.
The hardwood version of the Battle of I-5 again did not disappoint wednesday.
Scott Brooks' old East Union basketball jersey will be joined by another this Friday night when the Lancers host crosstown rival Manteca.
ESCALON - Twenty-point leads aren't safe when Escalon and Ripon get together for their Trans-Valley League confrontations.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch no longer sits alone atop the girls Valley Oak League basketball standings.
East Union was already down a starter who was out with an illness.
The Weston Ranch girls basketball roster has dwindled down to eight for the remainder of the season, but one key addition has the Cougars on pace for their first-ever VOL championship in their 10th season.
Ripon Christian's girls basketball has dominated second quarters of late.
RIPON – Despite Ripon going scoreless for over a 10-minute stretch Saturday night, the Indians still had a chance to knock down a game-winning trey as time expired - but it was never hoisted.
Lathrop bounced back in a big way Saturday night.
The game had long been decided, but East Union relished its 54-27 victory after the final horn sounded at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Friday.
WESTON RANCH – Four Weston Ranch players almost outscored the entire Sierra girls basketball team during Friday's 70-56 Valley Oak League victory over the visiting Timberwolves (2-4 VOL, 10-9 overall).
The Ripon Christian boys basketball squad picked up its fifth straight Southern League victory Friday during a 67-43 victory over winless Gustine.
Four Manteca area wrestlers came up a win shy of advancing to the second day of the prestigious Tim Brown Memorial at Jackson Sports Academy in Sacramento.
Sierra junior Joshua Patton amplified the home crowd during the first two minutes of the second half Thursday night.