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Bulldogs conclude preseason
Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 44-38 loss to Bear Creek on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"They gave everything they had," Bulldogs head coach Shawna Nunes said.

Jode Johnson led Ceres High with 11 points. Jamie Beck and Aimee Gunzenhauser scored 10 and nine points, respectively. Stephanie Yankovich and Amy Raymond tallied four points apiece.

Jazmin Gutierrez led the Bruins with 20 points. Tristine Bownes collected 10 points and 15 rebounds.

"We needed to be more scrappy today," Johnson said.

The Bulldogs struggled from the foul line, hitting just 52 percent (15 of 29).

"If we make half those free throws, we're in that game," Nunes said.

Ceres High also turned the ball over more than 20 times against Bear Creek's aggressive defense.

The Bulldogs trailed by just three points at 23-20 three minutes into the third quarter. The Bruins responded with a 7-0 run, extending their lead to 30-20 with 2:13 to play in the period.

A 5-0 run by Ceres High cut the deficit to 38-33 with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Gunzenhauser drew a foul while scoring inside but failed to convert the three-point play. Johnson buried one of her two foul shots. Beck made a pair of free throws.

"We need to get over our little slump right now," Jode said.

With the win, Bear Creek improved to 6-5 on the year.

The Bulldogs head into Valley Oak League play with a 4-9 mark.

"We're young," Nunes said. "We still have a lot of learning to do."