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 stretched its first-place lead while clinching its second straight Valley Oak League championship by beating second-place Sierra 66-49 Friday, but that did not improve its position on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff power ratings.
RIPON - Ripon Christian had the right guy at the right spot with the game still on the line with 3 seconds left against host Ripon.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.
Sierra remains on the heels of Valley Oak League-leading East Union after notching a decisive 242-271 win over Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.
Central Catholic remains in the driver's seat for the Valley Oak League championship after the conference's newest member knocked off defending titlist Manteca 6-3 for a second time this season.
LATHROP - With just two goals scored in the game's first 60 minutes, Manteca and Lathrop combined for three in a five-minute span in Wednesday's Valley Oak League contest at Bennie Gatto Field.
Ripon was undaunted by its first Trans-Valley League assignment Wednesday.
Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros could sense the frustration mounting from his Cougars in the first half of their Valley Oak League match at Oakdale on wednesday.
Brooke Riley capped off an impressive week Wednesday, shooting 5-under-par 31 on the links-style front nine at Tracy's Old River Golf Course, as East Union continued its Valley Oak League title defense with a 205-225 win against host Kimball.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
RIPON - Nothing is coming easy in what is shaping up to be a competitive Southern League boys soccer season.
East Union kept host Weston Ranch on its heels thanks to big serving runs from Jordyn Posz and Destiny Flores.
The weather is expected to cooperate for today's Valley Oak League rematch between Manteca and Central Catholic, which was originally postponed because of rain last Thursday.
Brooke Riley's round didn't end as well as she had hoped during East Union's Valley Oak League dual match at Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.
Scoring was at a premium Saturday when the Manteca Jr. Timberwolves junior novice squad locked up with the Tracy Jr. Bulldogs, who prevailed 6-0 in Delta Youth Football League action.
STOCKTON - The blond streak in Esteban Paramo's hair may have started as a personal statement of style, but it's come to symbolize something much bigger.