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Sierra boys No. 2; EU, Manteca girls are 5-6 in Div. 3 playoffs
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Manteca’s three high schools, each with Valley Oak League championships, are tipping off the Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls basketball playoffs at home this week.

Seedings were released by the section Sunday afternoon. In all, 11 of the 14 Manteca area teams qualified.

Sierra High’s boys (24-2) look to build on their program-best 23-game winning streak Wednesday when the Division III No. 2 seed take on No. 15 Placer (17-10). They completed their first-ever undefeated run in the VOL and aim to reach the section finals for the second time (2001) in program history.

In Division III girls, VOL co-champions East Union (22-4) and Manteca (24-3) are No. 5 and 6, respectively. East Union squares off with Dixon (19-8) Tuesday, while Patterson (18-7) visits Manteca for a rematch of their nonleague contest.

In the same bracket, fellow VOL member Weston Ranch (20-7) is on the road to face Sierra Valley Conference co-champion El Dorado (18-7) in the 8-9 matchup.

The Weston Ranch boys (19-8) fell from the fourth seed to No. 5 after dropping its final two regular-season contests to East Union and Sierra. The Ranch plays host to a dangerous No. 12 seed, Vista del Lago (13-14). Thirteenth-ranked East Union (16-10), a winner of six straight, heads to No. 4 Lindhurst (21-6).

Lathrop High’s boys squad is in the postseason for the first time in its third varsity season. The Spartans (14-12) climbed up to No. 9 and are pitted against No. 8 Encina (18-8) in Division IV. Ripon (15-12), which has won seven of eight, earned the Division-IV 7 seed and will square off with No. 10 Highlands (16-11).

Ripon’s girls contingent (18-8) was awarded the No.-5 spot despite losing three of its final four. The Indians will play Sonora (13-11) in an interesting first-round matchup.

Ripon Christian’s boys and girls are both idle for the opening round of the 12-team Division-V tournaments. They are also both Southern League champions (the Lady Knights share theirs with second-seeded Turlock Christian) and the No. 3 teams.

The Ripon Christian boys (22-5) await the winner of the No. 6 Valley Christian-No. 11 Woodland Christian game Friday, while the girls (20-4) host either No. 6 Foresthill or No. 11 Denair on Thursday.