OAKDALE – Barring a collapse at the Trans-Valley League Championship, the Ripon High boys golf team has assured itself at least a share of its third straight league crown.
Tuesday’s regular-season finale against Escalon was all about creating distance and comfort heading into Monday’s first leg of the postseason.
Junior Nick Sharp earned medalist honors and the Indians completed their perfect march through the TVL schedule with a 216-227 victory over Escalon at the Oakdale Country Club.
Ripon is 12-0 heading into Monday’s championship at Diablo Grande golf course in Patterson. Escalon (10-2) would need to win and have Ripon finish third to salvage a split of the league title.
Head coach Chris Musseman is optimistic the Indians, which reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament as a team last year, will go wire-to-wire in the TVL.
“We’re playing OK. I think we’ve had better spurts throughout the year, but the kids are holding up OK. What’s good to see is that they’re playing better in important matches,” he said. “There is a lot of pressure on our kids. We’ve won league the last three years. I don’t think we’ve lost a match the last two years, so there was some pressure coming into this season and they’ve handled it well.”
None better than Sharp, who followed Monday’s low round at the Tracy Tournament with a 1-under 35.
Sharp birdied Nos. 1 and 9 and had a 2-foot putt lip out on No. 8 for his only bogey.
“He’s playing well,” Musseman said of the reigning TVL MVP.
Sharp had some company.
Anthony Matthews carded a 42, while Nathan Suender and Michael Miller rounded out Ripon’s scoring with a pair of 46s.
Escalon was led by Zach Gardner (41), Nick Toy (43) and Lane Cadell (44).
Manteca 6, Sonora 3
In Sonora, Yok Jing Ma and Mike Lopez moved Manteca one step closer to clinching a share of the Valley Oak League title.
The Buffaloes’ top singles players posted matching 6-0, 6-0 victories. Spencer Jackson and Thomas Reza also recorded singles victories for Manteca (12-1), which can split the VOL title with Kimball (13-1) with a win on Thursday against East Union.
“Today our singles guys played really well, which is a very good sign,” Manteca coach Frank Fontana said. “We’re feeling pretty good going into our last match. We have to be ready though, because I’m sure East Union will be pumped up to beat us.”
The Buffaloes bounced the Lancers 8-1 in their first meeting.
Sierra 5, Lathrop 4
Sierra rode a dominating performance in singles to a victory over Lathrop.
The Spartans won the top half of the singles ladder with thrilling escapes by Ivan Alegado (1-6, 7-5, 6-4) and John Paul Bugay (7-5, 6-3), but the Timberwolves showcased their depth and swept the next four matches.
It proved to be the difference.
Mark Paule, Adam Searle, Josh Hernandez Simpaucos and Anthony Alcantar each earned straight-set singles victories for Sierra.
Their victories meant the Timberwolves only needed one point from doubles and Zach Gosney and Andrew Andrade answered the call. Gosney-Andrade defeated Chris Consul-Sahib Singh, 7-6, 4-6, 6-1.
Lathrop received doubles victories from Johnny Barajas-Navinder Dhindsa and Ben Hoang-Nick Cruz.