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Ward, Thomason named VOLs top player, coach
Sierra High standout center Will Ward earns an and-one opportunity by drawing a foul on Manteca defender Stephen Ruble in a Valley Oak League game. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Sierra High’s Will Ward and Scott Thomason were rewarded with the Valley Oak League’s top honors after anchoring the Timberwolves’ first 14-0 finish in conference play.

Ward, a 6-foot-5 senior center, was voted Most Valuable Player and also named to the all-defensive team. He averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds in league.

Thomason is Coach of the Year after guiding Sierra to its third championship in program history.

Also from Sierra (27-3 overall), point guard Guillermo Nunez (12 ppg) and off guard Joseph Berry (9.6 ppg) were selected to the all-VOL first team. Defensive stalwart Emmanuel Elijah earned honorable mention as well as a spot on the all-defensive team. Sixth man Tim Thornton was also awarded honorable mention.

League runner-up Weston Ranch (10-4, 19-9) is represented by 6-4 guard Dylan Alexander (19.5 ppg) and 6-7 post Daiveon Leverett (13.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg) on the first team, which is rounded out by 6-8 center Tayler Thompson of Sonora (8-6, 15-11). Weston Ranch senior guards Andre Beard and Will Cavil are second-team and all-defensive selections, respectively.

East Union (8-6, 16-11) closed the regular season with a six-game winning streak to tie Sonora for third and earn a playoff berth. Its point guard, Justin Nieto, was selected to the second team. Seniors Alex Del Real (honorable mention) and Brock Swift (all-defensive) were other Lancers recognized.

Fourth-place Lathrop (7-7, 14-14) qualified for the postseason for the first time. Forward Marcus Conley and guard Robert Orantes are all-league second-teamers, while Ricky Chavez made the all-defensive team.

Ben Odell made honorable mention and is the lone honoree for Manteca (3-11, 10-17).