By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Arrellano leads JV girls
Placeholder Image
The last time the Ceres High JV girls basketball team played at Merced, the Bears missed 10 free throws en route to a 51-44 loss to the Bulldogs. On Thursday, Merced turned in a similar performance in Ceres as it made just 7 of 23 free throws, including just 5 of 15 in the fourth quarter.

"We missed 16 free throws," said Merced coach David Putonen. "It's been our achilles heel all year."

The Bulldogs beat the Bears 47-43 and remained in fourth place in the league standings behind Beyer, Johansen and Turlock.

Ceres improved to 7-4 in the Central California Conference, 14-8 overall. Merced fell to 4-7 in the CCC, 12-14 overall.

"Ceres is a well-coached team," Putonen said.

Five players scored for Ceres, which led by 12, 32-20, at halftime.

Erica Arrellano finished with a game-high 23 points, including 18 in the first half, grabbed 10 rebounds and had three steals. Jaime Boling added 10 points, five blocks and three steals. Emily Coutrakis scored seven points and had three steals. Jordan Nash had six points and three steals. Hannah Silveira had one point.

Six Merced players scored.

Mendi Jones finished with a team-high 11 points. Dominique Pruitt added 10 points. Jasmine Davis and G'ne Clarke had seven points apiece. Dellisha Jones and Cory LeMire had five and three points, respectively.

Ceres held Merced scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second quarter. The Bears committed 11 turnovers, eight more than the Bulldogs.

"We finally stepped up on defense," said Ceres coach Kassi Baker.

The Bulldogs outscored the Bears 21-10 in the second quarter and led by 12, 32-20, at halftime. Arrellano scored 10 straight points in the second and six straight in the third.

"She's one of our key players," Baker said.

Ceres managed to extend its lead to 16, 44-28, in the third quarter despite committing 14 turnovers. The Bulldogs made 5 of 12 shots from the field. The Bears missed 13 of 16 shots and had 12 turnovers.

"We told them to keep up the intensity at halftime," Baker said. "They just played a really great game."

Merced mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter as it outscored Ceres 15-3, including 10-0 in the final 1:26. Coutrakis and Kyleesha Williams, two of Ceres' top defenders, fouled out in the final quarter.

"Both teams went all out," Putonen said.

Ceres shot 32 percent (18-for-56) from the field, 47 percent (9-for-19) from the foul line and committed 33 turnovers.

Merced shot 25 percent (15-for-60) from the floor, 30 percent from the free-throw line and had 24 turnovers.

Beyer 46, Ceres 34

The Bulldogs fell 46-34 to the Patriots at Ceres High School on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Arrellano finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven steals, Boling had eight points and seven rebounds and Coutrakis scored seven points for Ceres, which shot 67 percent (10-for-15) from the free-throw line. Williams and Nash added three and two points, respectively. Williams also had eight rebounds and four steals.

Ceres kept the game close in the first half.

The Bulldogs outscored the Patriots 10-7 in the first quarter and trailed by just three points, 22-19, at halftime.

Beyer took control in the third quarter as it outscored Ceres 16-7. The Patriots outscored the Bulldogs 24-15 in the second half.

Each team scored eight points in the fourth quarter.

Beyer shot 50 percent (3-for-6) from the foul line. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier