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Bears outplay Bulldogs in 4th quarter
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The Ceres High boys basketball team put a scare into the Merced Bears Friday night. The visiting Bulldogs built a five-point lead in the third quarter before succumbing to the Bears in the final quarter.

"We didn't handle the pressure as well as we did in the first three quarters," said Ceres coach Jason Martin. "We missed three layups early and scored one point in the first four minutes. That was pretty much the game."

Merced defeated Ceres 55-43 and moved to within one game of Beyer for first place in the Central California Conference standings. The Bears improved to 8-3 in CCC, 11-13 overall. The Bulldogs fell to 2-9 in league, 6-19 overall.

Down 36-31, Merced outscored Ceres 24-7 in the fourth quarter.

"We missed quite a few shots," Martin said. "Five of our seven points came in the last minute. We also turned the ball over too much."

Seven players scored for Ceres, which led by four, 26-22, at halftime.

Charlie Cunha had a team-high 14 points, including two 3-pointers. Derrick Goblirsch and Matt Schwark had six points apiece. Zack Wiedenbeck added five points. Ross Tate, Randy Atchison, Mike Arnold and Daniel Smith each added three points.

Ceres shot 54 percent (7-for-13) from the free-throw line.

Nine Merced players scored.

Logan Wiens led the way with a game-high 15 points. Dewisely Woods finished with 10 points, Eric Reeves and Joseph Owens had eight points apiece and Garrett Lucas scored five points. Robbie Faraone scored four points. Billy Mitchell and Jerrel Cuevas had two points. Matt Finerty added one point.

Merced shot 60 percent (15-for-25) from the foul line.

Beyer 43, Ceres 37

Ceres High and Beyer fans got their money's worth Wednesday night in Modesto. The Bulldogs staged a surprising comeback in the final quarter after falling behind by as much as 11 points in the second half.

Ceres got to within two points on Cunha's 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining. Beyer's Tim Morris sank four free throws in the final minute in leading the Patriots to a low-scoring 43-37 victory over the Bulldogs.

Beyer improved to 9-1 in the CCC, 14-10 overall, while Ceres fell to 2-8 in the CCC, 6-17 overall. The Patriots remained in first in the league standings.

Six players scored for Ceres, which shot just 42 percent (5-for-12) from the free-throw line. Cunha scored a game-high 14 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Wiedenbeck, Schwark, Goblirsch, Atchison and Tate added nine, five, four, three and two points, respectively.

Six players scored for Beyer, which held a 44-22 rebounding advantage and shot 67 percent (10-for-15) from the free-throw line.

Clemmie Walker and Andrew House had nine points apiece. Morris and Ricky Frederiksen scored eight and seven points, respectively. Dwight Nixon and Steven Neville added five points.

Ceres plays host to Modesto High today and at Atwater on Friday. Both games start at 7:15 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier