Tonight’s boys games
East Union at Central Catholic, 7:15 p.m.
Manteca at Oakdale, 7:15 p.m.
Lathrop at Sierra, 7:15 p.m.
Weston Ranch at Kimball, 7 p.m.
Escalon at Ripon, 7:30 p.m.
Hughson at Ripon Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Tonight’s girls games
Central Catholic at East Union, 7:15 p.m.
Oakdale at Manteca, 7:15 p.m.
Sierra at Lathrop, 7:15 p.m.
Kimball at Weston Ranch, 7:15 p.m.
Ripon at Escalon, 7:30 p.m.
Ripon Christian at Hughson, 7:30 p.m.
There will be little drama in the Valley Oak and Trans-Valley leagues tonight when the regular season comes to a close for Manteca area boys and girls basketball teams.
The Sierra boys (13-0, 24-2) and undefeated Kimball girls (13-0, 26-0) have already secured sole possession of the VOL championships. Sierra finishes up with Lathrop (3-10, 4-22) as it looks to cap a perfect run to its fourth straight league title. Kimball heads to Weston Ranch (11-2, 20-5), the VOL’s runner-up for the fourth time in five seasons.
The top three teams in each league qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, and at-large bids are available for those ranked in the top 12 in their division by MaxPreps. Manteca (11-2, 19-6) and Weston Ranch (9-4, 16-10) finish second and third, respectively, in the VOL boys race. Fourth-place Central Catholic (7-6, 15-11) is a likely at-large qualifier if it beats East Union (0-13, 6-20) tonight.
East Union’s girls, winners of seven of their last eight, secured the third and final automatic berth with Saturday’s 59-52 triumph over Weston Ranch. Manteca (8-5, 16-10) is crossing its fingers for an at-large bid but would need to dispatch visiting Oakdale (2-11, 4-21) first.
Ripon Christian (8-1, 18-5) is the TVL boys champion with Ripon (6-3, 15-11) and Riverbank (5-4, 9-15) rounding out the league’s postseason qualifiers. Ripon is playing for the runner-up spot and a more favorable seed tonight when it plays host to Escalon (1-8, 10-16). A loss coupled with a Riverbank win over Hilmar (3-6, 12-14) would drop the Indians to third place. Riverbank owns a tiebreaking advantage over Ripon with a win over Ripon Christian.
Up to four TVL girls teams could make playoff appearances depending on tonight’s results. Riverbank (8-1, 14-10) and Hughson (7-2, 10-9) are in as the top two teams with Ripon (5-4, 14-12) and Ripon Christian (5-4, 14-6), which split their season series, tied for third. Ripon Christian has the tougher finale having to face Hughson on the road, while Ripon takes on last-place Escalon (0-9, 7-17). RC, though, could still advance to the Division V playoffs with an at-large berth.
Final brackets will be released by the SJS at about 5 p.m. Wednesday via its free online show through NFHS Network (www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/cifsjs).