Millennium also has a chance to top its league, and Tracy faces three tough games in a row to see where the Bulldogs stand.
Tri-City Athletic League
West High got a good head start in the pre-league season. But the Wolf Pack (13-5, 0-1 TCAL) stumbled Wednesday, Jan. 9, against defending league champion McNair, reminding coach Derek Sprecksel that the TCAL’s teams are as good as ever.
“It’s very balanced. There’s no powerhouse,” Sprecksel said. “We didn’t underestimate (McNair). We can’t underestimate anybody.”
West senior forward Michael Young said that his team needs a complete effort to be successful in the TCAL season.
“We’ve just got to come out defensively,” he said.
Valley Oak League
Kimball coach Joe Lawrence said his team is on track to make playoffs and be a force in the VOL this year.
The Jaguars (10-6, 2-1 VOL) faced defending VOL champion Sierra at home Thursday, Jan. 10, after press time. A win against Sierra, and then a win next Thursday at Weston Ranch, decide if the Jaguars will be at the top of the league this year.
Lawrence expects his team can win enough games to give the Jaguars their second trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, but he won’t take those games for granted.
“Any VOL win is a big win,” Lawrence said.
Central California Athletic Alliance
Millennium (10-5) begins league play Friday, Jan. 11, against defending league champion Elliot Christian in Lodi.
Falcons coach Mike Woods expects Brookside Christian of Stockton will also be a league leader.
Woods said Big Valley Christian of Modesto is always strong, and Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage is an unknown, as the San Andreas boys school has a completely new roster each year.
“Other teams don’t bother me. It’s this team in this gym,” Woods said of the Falcons. “If we play consistent, hard basketball, we can compete with anyone in the league.”
Mountain Valley League
Delta Charter is after its third consecutive MVL title. The Dragons (4-6, 3-0 MVL) opened league competition Dec. 4 with a win over last year’s league runner-up, Tioga.
Delta Charter sophomore Deandre Ragsdale said Venture Academy of Stockton also was strong last year, but he’s confident that the Dragons will lead the MVL.
“We know that in this division nobody can stop us,” he said.
Delta Charter coach Shaun Wilson won’t predict how other teams measure up until the Dragons play them.
“I don’t think we’ll have any worries as far as league play,” Wilson said.
San Joaquin Athletic Association
After Tracy’s win Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Franklin High in Stockton, coach Junior Cueva said the Bulldogs were due for some success.
“We’re going through the ups and downs of the season,” Cueva said.
The Bulldogs (3-10, 1-0 SJAA) will know more about where they stand after they play Friday, Jan. 11, at Lodi, face Lincoln at home Wednesday, Jan. 16, and then play defending champion Chavez on Friday, Jan. 18.
Cueva said each game is a chance for the Bulldogs to prove themselves.
“We come into each game with a game plan and just have to execute,” he said.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.