Perhaps the ninth time will be the charm for Ripon High.
Effort wasn't the issue in Manteca and visiting Ripon's annual Foundation Game showdown Monday.
Twenty two-year-old Brett Lewis' debut as East Union High's varsity boys basketball head coach went smoothly.
RIPON – The Notre Dame Spirits fought valiantly to keep their 2009 season alive, but the Ripon Indians would have no such thing, finishing off the Spirits' season by winning in four in the CIF State Volleyball Championship semi-finals at Ripon High.
FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
Jan. 15 seems so long ago for Sierra's girls basketball team.
The last time East Union and Oakdale got together, the Lancers' head coach Jim Agostini referred to it as one of the hardest losses the program has experienced.
Weston Ranch punctuated the game with a 9-0 run and avoided an upset loss at Lathrop 63-52 on Thursday.
By JAMES BURNS
Mikey Villanueva was down and almost out during Wednesday's Valley Oak League double dual at Dalben Center.
Sierra is going to the show.
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.