Boys basketball on center stage in San Joaquin County

The Chavez, in white, and Edison boys basketball teams are SJAA co-leaders and meet at 7 p.m. today at Edison's Taggart Gym in Stockton. CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD FILE 2017

The biggest night of boys basketball thus far this season is here. There are enormous games for league championship, and playoff implications, in the Tri-City Athletic League, San Joaquin Athletic Association and Valley Oak League.

Here’s a brief look at all three. The Record is planning on having a reporter at all three games so make sure to grab a copy of The Record on Saturday and look online at late tonight.

I’ll be covering No. 2 West at No. 1 St. Mary’s (The Record’s large school rankings indicated there) at 7 p.m. at Morelli Gym via Twitter.




No. 2 West at No. 1 St. Mary’s

Storyline: The Record’s top-three ranked teams, and the TCAL’s top three teams, St. Mary’s, West and Lincoln are bizarrely 0-4 at home when they play each other head-to-head. St. Mary’s has a chance to break that pattern tonight, as it hosts its toughest three games remaining: West, Lincoln and Tokay. If St. Mary’s wins, it will keep the top spot in The Record’s power rankings. If West wins, I will probably decide to make it a three-way tie between St. Mary’s, West and Lincoln, who, if Lincoln beats Lodi, would be in a three-way tie for first place in the TCAL. Keep in mind that the TCAL gets three automatic playoff bids, and Tracy is only behind second-place Lincoln and West by one game each. West has a good enough record that it could probably get into the postseason with a fourth-place finish barring a crazy collapse.

Chavez at Edison

Storyline: Franklin quietly provided an upset earlier this week, beating Chavez, which hadn’t yet lost an SJAA game, 69-63 behind a whopping 63 points from Milton Jordan, Now the Titans and Vikings are tied atop the league at 6-1. Edison was the 2016 outright champion and Chavez split the banner with Bear Creek in 2015. It’s senior night for Edison and they should have a big home crowd at Taggart Gym. Expect seniors in the Vikings’ Wesley Bookman and the Titans’ Carlos Gaston to have a massive impact on the outcome at both ends of the floor.

No. 4 Manteca at Weston Ranch

Storyline: When you think about the Buffaloes last season, you remember them winning a CIF State Division III championship. What you overlook is they were VOL and Sac-Joaquin Section Division III runners-up to Weston Ranch. In fact, Manteca hasn’t won a league title in seven years. The Buffaloes clinch at least a share of the VOL by winning today, and if they win and Central Catholic loses, they are outright champions. But look out, a young Weston Ranch team has been playing better basketball, and might have enough depth — albeit with a lot of inexperienced players — to present an upset bid.


Twitter: @RecordPreps

Facebook: Thomas Lawrence


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    Thomas Lawrence

    Lawrence became a prep and general assignment sports reporter for The Record in August 2014. He has covered high school, college and professional sports and more in his career. From November of 2011 through summer 2014, he covered college and prep ... Read Full
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