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Sierra gets bye in start of NorCals
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Manteca High’s boys basketball team advanced to the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals last week, its longest postseason run since the 1987 team claimed the program’s only blue pennant.

The Buffaloes were rewarded with their longest road trip of the season. They are one of four Manteca area teams to qualify for the CIF Northern California Regional Championships,which begins Wednesday.

Three area squads get to open with home games for playing in the SJS finals, and one of them gets a free pass to Saturday’s second round.

Thirteenth-seeded Manteca (22-7) travels more than 200 miles to Palo Cedro, near Redding, where No. 4 Foothill (21-8). The Cougars are the Northern Section’s Division III champion.

First-time SJS champion Sierra is No. 3 for the NorCal tournament. Bay Area powers Drake and Campolindo are the top two seeds. Sierra (29-2) defeated rival Weston Ranch 67-51 in last Friday’s section finals at Sleep Train Arena. The Timberwolves will host No. 6 Archbishop Riordan (17-10) or No. 11 Albany (28-2) on Saturday.

Weston Ranch (20-11) welcomes Central Coast Section runner-up Aptos (23-7) in the 8-9 match-up.

Ripon Christian’s girls (16-7) is also seeded eighth in the Division V bracket. The Knights face San Domenico (22-6) of San Anselmo.