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Bulldogs try to build team chemistry
Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team has endured a rough start to the 2011-12 campaign.

The new-look Bulldogs dropped to 2-13 on the year following their 0-3 showing at the Fuchs Memorial Holiday Classic this past week in Columbia. Ceres High graduated four starters from a season ago.

Jimbo Pernetti scored a team-high 17 points in the Bulldogs' 55-43 tourney-finale loss to Lathrop on Friday.

The Spartans limited Ceres High to just 18 points in the opening half.

The Bulldogs lost 67-61 to Atwater on Thursday.

Binder Atwal tallied a game-high 29 points for Ceres High, which never recovered after falling behind 25-7 in the first period.

Haydon Turpin collected a career-high 12 points.

Pernetti contributed nine points.

Harman Chung and Caden Johnson both scored four points.

Abel Reyes added three points.

Runner-up Sonora routed Ceres High 64-37 in the opening round on Wednesday.

Pernetti had nine points.

Atwal, Chung and Jr. Garcia totaled seven, six and four points, respectively.

Reyes, Turpin and freshman Brad Bussard chipped in with three points each.

Johnson added two points.

The Bulldogs struggled from the free-throw line (9 of 19).

Wildcats 37, Bulldogs 17

Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team nearly matched its season-low for points scored in a single game this past week.

The Bulldogs lost 37-17 to host Sonora in non-conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Ceres High mustered just 15 points in a setback to Patterson at the Turlock Christian Tournament.

"We got really good looks at the basket," Bulldogs head coach Vanessa Morris said. "We just didn't put the ball in the hoop."

Bryce Ford scored a team-high 10 points for Ceres High, which dropped to 5-7 on the year. Ashton Frampton added four points. Breanna Freitas collected two points. Freshman Ryleigh Honberger had one point.

Jade Mena tallied a game-high 11 points for the Wildcats (8-3). Elise Amend chipped in with eight points. Tyler Swycinski and Jenni Constable both contributed four points. Anneka Pisula totaled three points. Bailey Heningston, Jessie Fong and Bryanna Owens all scored two points.

"We had a good preseason," Morris said. "We improved."

Sonora outscored Ceres High 24-7 during the middle periods, including 12-1 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs led 5-3 at the end of the first quarter.

"We always play hard," Morris said. "We just have to execute better."

Ceres High will begin Western Athletic Conference play this week.

The Bulldogs will travel to Pacheco (Jan. 3) and Central Catholic (Thursday). Both games tip off at 7:30 p.m.

"It's a tough league," Morris said. "If we continue to work hard, we'll get wins. We're going to compete every game."