It's about a one-hour, 45-minute bus ride from Denair High to Mariposa High, which gave the Grizzlies ample time to celebrate Tuesday night.
Cody Wichman scored 31 points as Mariposa pulled away to a 75-63 win over the Coyotes, making the Grizzlies the first Stanislaus District boys' team to clinch an outright league title. With its 15th straight win, Mariposa is 12-0 in the Southern League, 21-3 overall, and has a four-game lead over second-place Le Grand with three games left to play. Denair fell to 12-11, 6-6.
Pierce Chaney added 19 points for Mariposa, which is No. 7 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 rankings. Clayton McDonald and Trevor Werner scored 17 points apiece for Denair (12-11, 6-6,) ranked No. 17 and on the bubble for a playoff berth.
Le Grand (12-8, 8-4) tried to keep pace with Mariposa, getting 30 points from Dannon Graham in a 56-53 win against Turlock Christian, but that just kept the Bulldogs in second place, four games back.
Also in the SL, Delhi outscored Waterford 20-6 in the third quarter en route to a 64-51 win. The Hawks are 11-13, 5-7 as Oscar Borg scored 20 points. Miguel Aguirre scored 16 points for Waterford (3-20, 1-10.)
WAC — The feeling all along was that Patterson was going to knock off one of the contenders before the end of the season, and that happened when the Tigers dominated Central Catholic over the middle two quarters to win 73-57 on the road. ... Kent Foster had 22 points while Adan Cortez and Cody Weinzheimer added 17 apiece as Patterson (9-15, 6-6) put the WAC race back up for grabs. Dan Hulst and Dusty Killian scored 21 apiece for the Raiders inside, but Central's outside game was contained as they fell to 19-5, 10-2 and saw their lead over Hilmar and Livingston dwindle to one game. The Raiders were outscored 46-30 over the middle two quarters. Central Catholic's next two games will decide its WAC fate. The Raiders play at Livingston on Friday and are at Hilmar on Tuesday. ...
Hilmar (17-6, 9-3) maintained its hold on second when it cruised to a 65-24 win over Gustine (3-19, 1-11) in another game played with a fourth-quarter running clock. Noel Zaldaza led the Yellowjackets with 18 points.
TVL — While Ripon Christian and Escalon were battling for their section playoff positions, Trans-Valley League-leader Modesto Christian and second-place Ripon continued their strong regular-season finishes. The Crusaders (15-8, 7-0) won their 10th straight with six players scoring in double figures in a 107-42 win at Hughson (2-19, 0-7.) MC led 66-30 at halftime and 89-38 before the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock. ...
The Indians (13-11, 5-2) also had a relatively easy time in a 57-39 win at home against Riverbank. Matt Ratto led the way for Ripon with 24 points, while Zack Gonzalez scored 22 for Riverbank (11-12, 2-5.)
MOTHER LODE — Summerville (8-13, 3-3) won back-to-back games for the first time this season in league play, getting 16 points from Tige Wingo in a 57-52 win at Argonaut (4-20, 0-7.)
HARVEST CHRISTIAN — Big Valley (11-10, 8-3) joined Tuesday's parade of blowout wins as it built a 54-13 lead after three quarters and finished with a 56-13 victory against Lodi Academy. Nine different players scored for Big Valley, with Corey Wells getting 14 to lead the way.
MMC — Enochs has won three straight since bowing to Modesto on Jan. 28, with the 53-42 win over Davis the closest of the three. The Eagles (17-7, 7-1) got 13 points from Clairesse DeHart and 12 from Brittany Arnold, and outscored the Spartans 23-10 in the third quarter to take a 42-28 lead into the final quarter. Anecia Brown had 16 points for Davis (10-15, 3-5.)
CCC — Turlock High clinched no worse than a co-title in the Central California Conference when it rolled to a 67-24 win at Los Banos. Camille Roberts scored 20 points and Kayle Schumann added 18 as the Bulldogs improved to 21-4, 9-0 and have a three-game lead over Pitman with three games remaining. The Tigers fell to 11-14, 5-5.
HARVEST CHRISTIAN — Big Valley Christian can start thinking about its rematch with Wilton Christian after the Lions pulled away in the third quarter and defeated Lodi Academy 47-36. Brittany Miller scored 12 points, Sam Lucero 11 and Megan Palmer 10 for BVC (18-4, 13-1.) The Lions, who finish the regular season with three road games, lost at home to Wilton Christian 41-37 on Jan. 19, BVC's only loss in its last 16 games. The return is tonight on Wilton's home court, a gym at Galt High.
Reach Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek at 578-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org