WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High knows they are flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves are not flying high after their 67-52 win over the Ceres Bulldogs keeps Sierra atop of the Valley Oak League standings after Wednesday's contests.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but they had no idea their Valley Oak League opener would end with a 51-21 and a 64-9 loss to Ceres and Oakdale highs Wednesday.
CERES – Sierra High trailed the Ceres Bulldogs by four heading into the intermission, but a blistering hot third quarter provided the Timberwolves with all the separation they would need in their 59-53 win over the host Bulldogs.
Manteca High's defending Valley Oak League champion boys basketball team began its title defense against visiting Oakdale Tuesday and had little trouble in dispatching the overmatched Mustangs, 55-42.
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.
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.