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.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
STOCKTON - The East Union boys basketball team nearly squandered its nine-point halftime lead, holding on for a 58-57 win over Stagg in 4th Annual Bear Creek Bruin Shootout Tuesday.
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.