For it to be the opening stages of the wrestling season, the East Union Lancers came out with the intensity of a squad with postseason aspirations, taking care of Edison High with three pins in a 54-30 dual match win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
Sierra High made the trip north to take on the Tokay Tigers and outstanding defensive play helped the Timberwolves return victorious, holding the Tigers in check on their home court in a 48-38 win over Tokay Wednesday in preseason action.
RIPON - Just moments after Ripon High's standout 215-pound wrestler, Travis Smith, posted the fastest pin of the night, heavyweight Mike Goldberg of Lathrop did his even faster - and quickness isn't a trait you'd normally associate with the weight class.
Missed free throws nearly cost Sierra High's girls basketball team Tuesday at Beyer.
RIPON - The first four minutes were far from perfect for Ripon Christian, but things got straightened out in a hurry. The Knights jumped all over the visiting Hughson Huskies with a first half run and never let up in a 55-18 blowout Tuesday.
In a battle of defending league champions, it was host Modesto High of the Modesto Metro Conference that prevailed 51-45 over East Union.
MODESTO – Despite a 10-2 run by Golden Valley midway through the fourth quarter Saturday in the Consolation Championship of the Modesto City Classic, East Union found itself in position to send the game into overtime with two 3-point attempts by Brandon Cline in the closing seconds. Both long tries rimmed out and the Cougars escaped with a 65-62 win at Johansen High School.
West High of Tracy had East Union beat on the look test.
The East Union Lancers once again relied on sharp-shooting and solid defense to take a step further in the Modesto City Classic Friday night by downing Los Banos 56-45 and secure their second victory of the season.
The combination of strong defense and sure-shooting helped the Ripon Christian girls cruise to its second victory in as many nights, this time by a 48-28 margin over the Downey Knights in the consolation championship of the Escalon Tournament Friday.
Manteca High freshman forward Tia Tuuga said she was nervous, but she did a horrible job of showing it in her varsity debut Thursday at Winter Gymnasium.
For the second straight night, Manteca High's boys basketball team didn't get off to a good start, but this had nothing to do with lazy defense or a cold-shooting offense.
LATHROP - The Ripon High girls varsity basketball team incorporated tough pressure defense to go with plenty of hustle plays while routing the Spartans in Thursday's non-league game.
An improved defensive performance proved to be the key for the Ripon Christian girls basketball team in its second game of the season Thursday night.
STOCKTON - After defeating St. Mary's 48-24 Tuesday night due in part to seven Rams forfeits, East Union found itself up by five points going into its last bout of the night with Sarah Phillips needing to avoid being pinned to give the Lancers a win over host Bear Creek.
It took less than an hour for Manteca to get its first official match out of the way Friday.
LATHROP - It's now or never for Alex Garcia, a wrestler with a rich bloodline and one glaring omission on an otherwise sparkling resume.
Help wanted: East Union seeking suitable training partners for blossoming 220-pound wrestler.
PATTERSON - Patterson head coach Elizabeth Tolleson burned two timeouts in the first three-plus minutes of the fourth quarter to give her overtaxed players a breather.
RIPON - The Ripon Christian girls basketball team turned up the intensity against Millennium of Tracy in second-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V on Thursday.
The Maryann Wallace Pangburn 7/8 Grade All-Star Classic will return to Sierra High this Saturday after a one-year hiatus.
When one of your best players is sick, gets in foul trouble and is double-teamed all night that could be trouble.
Tyler Graves-Kelso threw his body into the stands, his hands into the passing lanes, and more importantly, he threw a perfect strike to Marcus Montano with the game on the line.
CERES - Young, yes, but these Cougars from Weston Ranch are far from inexperienced.
Erik Scheive found space at the back-door, finishing a third-quarter lob with authority.
STOCKTON - Rosemont stifled Weston Ranch's guards early and fully controlled the tempo in Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III opener.
AUBURN - Olivia Vezaldenos gave East Union High its first lead of Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff basketball game by draining a 3-pointer with 56 seconds to play in the opening half.
Marcus Montano has scored bending free kicks at the final whistle to win soccer games.
Inconsistency on offense has plagued Ripon all season, and the 14th-seeded Indians battled through the shooting yips once again in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV opener at No. 3 West Campus.
Ripon Christian's first-round opponent?