The parity in the Valley Oak League has made for an exciting season for boys and girls basketball, but it also has several teams scrapping for postseason berths according to the first release of the Sac-Joaquin Section's playoff power ratings.
It's all about control for East Union High's girls basketball team these days.
TURLOCK - East Union High's varsity wrestling team brought just four competitors at Pitman High's 5th Annual Rumble in the Jungle Saturday, but all four produced noteworthy results.
CERES - A loss at Central Valley would have been disastrous to the East Union boys basketball team's postseason hopes, and they were a few big plays, from emerging junior Robert Vaughn, away from letting that happen.
Alison Telles scored 16 of her 21 points to highlight East Union's 50-28 sophomore girls basketball victory at rival Sierra Monday.
LATHROP – By the time Lathrop High's girls varsity basketball team found a handle on its Valley Oak League contest with Oakdale High, the Mustangs were in the midst of an 18-2 run and easily on their way to a 51-28 win over the Spartans Saturday.
HANFORD – A handful of area wrestlers made their way south to compete in the California Girls Wrestling Invitational at Hanford West High just outside of Fresno. The tournament is the final tune-up for the Sac-Joaquin Women's Masters Tournament taking place Feb. 5-6 in Stockton.
RIPON – Ripon High piqued the crowds' anxiety to maximum heights when Andy Bunting pulled the Indians to within three on a layup after a steal with 1:23 remaining, but that would be as close as crosstown host Ripon Christian would have it in its 52-47 Trans Valley League Friday.
A telling statistical category for Sierra High's boys basketball team this season is points allowed.
SONORA - Sonora torched undersized East Union in the post in its 81-67 win on Jan. 6.
The Sierra High boys sophomore basketball team entered the fourth quarter trailing by four points, but a dominant final period lifted the Timberwolves to a comfortable 59-51 Valley Oak League win over the visiting Ceres Bulldogs.
RIPON - It took 7 minutes, 34 seconds for Ripon High's girls basketball team to sink its first field goal Thursday - a jumper from the right elbow off the fingertips of Adrianna Mayberry.
Sierra High's football team reached unprecedented heights last fall and was rewarded for it.
Trailing by double digits going into halftime provided the Sonora Wildcats with all the motivation they would need, mounting a ferocious comeback only to fall to the host East Union Lancers 47-42 in Valley Oak League girls basketball play Thursday.
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.
RIPON - Gustine fans and coaches alike pleaded all game for their players to box out.
Ripon's girls basketball team snapped a four-game skid with a 53-41 Trans Valley League victory over Orestimba on Thursday night.
Weston Ranch is 5-0 with first-year senior Derek Gordon on the team, and he had a direct impact on the result of Thursday night's wild 54-53 overtime win at Kimball.
Another night, another blowout win for Weston Ranch's upstart girls basketball team.
Jessica Hasal drained a 3-pointer and made a steal on the ensuing Sierra possession midway through the fourth quarter Wednesday to spot Manteca to a four-point lead that would prove to be the margin of victory in a 36-32 win at Sierra High.
Despite only scoring nine second-half points Wednesday, Lathrop's girls basketball team still held off visiting Oakdale 30-28 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.