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Ceres High boys have trouble finishing
For three quarters, the Ceres High varsity boys basketball team gave its Homecoming fans plenty to cheer about.

Sonora wiped out the Bulldogs' five-point lead early in the final period and pulled away for a stunning 52-41 victory Saturday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"We should have won that game," Ceres High senior guard Justin Canatsy said. "We just couldn't make our shots."

Canatsy and Katero Lebeau scored 10 points apiece for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 10-12 on the year and 4-7 in the Valley Oak League standings. Tyler Cummings, Edgar Lopez, John Dhillon and Vineel Kumar had seven, six, five and three points, respectively.

Zach Gorgas scored 18 points for the Wildcats, who moved to 13-9 overall and 7-4 in conference play.

Alex Kiriluk added 14 points.

Sonora outscored Ceres High 23-7 in the final period, including 14-0 in the opening six-plus minutes.

Gorgas and Kiriluk tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively.

"We have hot spots," said Canatsy, who accounted for all of his team's fourth-quarter points. "Then we dry up."

The Bulldogs had trouble finishing for the third straight game.

Ceres High totaled just 16 fourth-quarter points in losses to Sierra (51-38) and East Union (67-54) earlier in the week.

The Bulldogs entered the 2009-10 season with high expectations.

Ceres High has quickly faded out of the playoff picture.

The top 16 teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings advance to the postseason.

The Bulldogs are currently ranked 25th.

"Anything can happen, but it's going to be a lot harder," Canatsy said.

JV suffers shocking collapse

Head coach Jim Pernetti watched helplessly from the bench as Ceres High School's frosh-soph boys basketball team struggled mightily on offense in the second half of Saturday's Valley Oak League contest with visiting Sonora.

The Bulldogs tallied just nine points after intermission en route to a 40-30 loss to the Wildcats.

"It's not like we didn't try," Pernetti said. "We just couldn't score. We were missing layups and easy shots."

Ceres High had just three players contribute on offense.

Binder Atwal, Jr. Moniz and Jimbo Pernetti collected 14, nine and seven points, respectively.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 21-19 lead heading into halftime.

Sonora outscored Ceres High 21-9 during the final 16 minutes.

The Wildcats used their superior size to dominate on both ends of the floor.

"When teams play physical with us, we have a hard time," Coach Pernetti said. "It's something we got to get over to get to the next level."

Welsh, Ceres High's point guard, played sparingly in the second half due to foul trouble.

Pernetti and his players made the slow walk to the locker room following the stunning collapse.

Frosh Bulldogs struggle too

Ceres High School's freshman boys basketball team never recovered after falling behind early against Sonora, Sierra and East Union in Valley Oak League play last week.

The Bulldogs (3-8) were outscored by a combined total of 30 points in the opening quarters.

Ceres High dropped a 59-53 decision to Sonora on Saturday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Caden Johnson and Josh Avila both scored in double figures for the Bulldogs.

Johnson led the way with 16 points, while Avila added 13.

Haydon Turpin, Devon Ruger and Eric Madrigal contributed eight, seven and six points, respectively.

Ceres High trailed 15-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats 46-44 the rest of the way.

Madrigal and Turpin both finished with 12 points during Ceres High's 55-35 setback at Sierra on Friday.

Johnson chipped in seven points for the Bulldogs, who faced a 19-8 deficit heading into the second quarter.

Ceres High lost 60-46 to East Union on Wednesday in Manteca.

Johnson had a team-high 15 points.

Avila scored 13 points.

The Bulldogs fell behind by 11 points at the end of the first quarter.