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.
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.
FRESNO – Jaelen Ragsdale scored 25 points to lead four players in double figures as the Weston Ranch boys basketball team cruised to victory in the opening round of the Holiday Invitational Tournament.
East Union blew out its first four opponents by 20 or more points, including a 53-25 shelling of Ripon Christian in a Foundation Game.
In time, the Manteca High basketball team may compete with the big boys of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Devin Nunez knows how to slam a door.
They may be young, but the Manteca Buffaloes are proving to be fast learners.
STOCKTON - The fall from grace has been sudden and swift for the Lathrop boys basketball team, but coach Nate McGrath can see the potential in all the losses.
LATHROP - Gurveen Bal hit a 3-pointer in the middle of a 14-0 second-quarter run to give the Lathrop girls basketball team the lead for good in a 34-31 win over Chavez-Stockton on Monday.
Weston Ranch brought home the third-place trophy from 37th Annual Tony Contreras Delta Queen Classic on Saturday with a 61-48 win over McNair-Stockton, and three-year Cougars starter Elisabeth Alexander received All-Tournament honors as well as the award for most points scored in the three-day affair at 71 points.
STOCKTON – It came down to one bout.
STOCKTON - Sierra's uneven effort of late was bound to catch up to the Timberwolves.
Weston Ranch mounted a late charge but came up short in a 53-50 loss to Merced in the semifinal round of the 37th Annual Tony Contreras Delta Queen Classic at Stagg High on Friday.
With intentions of challenging his team, Manteca head coach Brett Lewis sent out an email to coaches from the Bay Area and Sacramento region in the offseason to set up a nonleague game.
Elisabeth Alexander wasn't entirely satisfied with her effort Thursday in the first round of the 37th Annual Tony Contreras Delta Queen Classic at Stagg High.
STOCKTON - The Sierra High Timberwolves saw their 23-point, second-half lead dwindle down to a single point in the final seconds against Chavez Thursday.
Sierra cross country coach Mike Rosendin has been named one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's six Model Coaches of the Year.