With five teams qualifying and three Manteca Unified schools hosting a first-round game, the Valley Oak League is well-represented in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs - so far.
Good news first: Sierra High's two losses to end the Valley Oak League girls basketball season last week had no effect on its postseason chances.
EL DORADO HILLS – Closing the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Wrestling tournaments with a berth into the SJS Masters meet was the primary goal, but Weston Ranch's Donnell Simms was able to take it a step further by winning the 189-pound championship on his way to the Masters.
Weston Ranch's boys basketball team was expected to contend for the Valley Oak League title this season, even with three sophomores in the starting lineup.
One team was trying to close out a frustrating season with one last quality effort.
LATHROP - J.J. Ramirez wants a commitment from his Lathrop High boys varsity basketball team.
The Ripon Indians opened the contest with a blistering start and never lost track, blasting Orestimba High 88-57 to close out the Trans Valley League boys basketball season Friday.
With the Valley Oak League championship already annexed by Manteca High's girls basketball team, the buzz surrounding its anticipated regular-season showdown with rival East Union took a little bit of a hit.
WESTON RANCH - With Sac-Joaquin Section postseason positioning at stake, intensity was not a problem for Weston Ranch and Sierra's girls basketball teams Thursday in their Valley Oak League finale.
RIPON - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
Sharon Washington leapt off the bench with a smile plastered on her face.
After a scoreless first half, Ripon Christian found its footing against visiting Delhi on Tuesday, winning 5-0 in the Southern League match.
Central Catholic, East Union and Oakdale boast the most accomplished boys golf programs in the Valley Oak League, but the player all others are chasing represents none of those schools.
RIPON - Manteca High freshman Kyle Rachels showed maturity well beyond his years, pitching four-plus innings of long relief.
Only the clock could stop Manteca from scoring in its 9-0 victory over visiting Lathrop on Monday, but the efforts to support young Destiny Herrera is ongoing.
Mayville State University coach John Haines made the 1,900-mile trip to the Family City equipped with only a simple pitch.
As a multi-sport athlete from the Central Valley who also excels in the classroom, Sierra High senior Hunter Johnson can relate to California Maritime Academy men's basketball head coach Bryan Rooney.
Ripon High senior Nick Sharp successfully defended his championship at the Tracy/West Invitational on Monday, winning a card-off with three other players who finished 1-over-par 73 at Tracy Country Club.
East Union coach Brian Goulart was concerned that the Lancers' Valley Oak League make-up game at Manteca may have come at a bad time.
Ripon High suffered a rare lopsided home loss Friday to Hughson.
Ronaldo Tijero charged the dribbling baseball, bare-handing it halfway up the third-base line before releasing a rocket across the diamond.
The Cal-Mex Baseball League is celebrating its 60-year anniversary with opening day ceremonies this Sunday at Stockton's Stribley Park. The festivities will begin at noon.
Manteca High's track and field team received a big boost from two transfers in a Valley Oak League dual meet against visiting rival Sierra on Thursday.
Manteca took first in just two varsity races as visiting Ripon came away with Valley Oak League wins for its boys and girls swim teams Friday.
Amaiya Guyton and Jaysen Reindel of the Lancer Youth Wrestling Club earned medals at the Flo Reno Worlds Championships last weekend at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Ripon Christian survived its toughest challenge of the Southern League so far on Friday, warding off Orestimba 1-0 in Newman thanks to some fortunate bounces.