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Ceres High girls close out non-league schedule with loss
Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team endured a forgettable finish to the preseason.

Visiting Sonora posted a 54-40 win over the Bulldogs Thursday night.

"I walked into the gym and knew we weren't ready to play," Bulldogs head coach Vanessa Morris said. "They weren't focused. I'll take the blame. They're my responsibility. I didn't prepare them well enough for this game."

The loss snapped the Bulldogs' two-game winning streak.

Ceres High dropped to 4-5 on the year.

The Wildcats improved to 8-3.

Bulldog Bryce Ford scored a game-high 20 points.

Freshman Nicole Bates had 14 points.

Ryleigh Honberger and Alyssa Sanchez tallied four and two points, respectively.

The Bulldogs committed more than 20 turnovers. "It's not fun to lose," Bates said. "But it made us learn a little bit. We need to box out. We need to make smarter passes. I think we're going to do good this year."

Ceres High cut a double-digit deficit to seven before Sonora re-established its dominance late in the first half.

The Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs 17-8 in the third quarter.

"We were really into it in the beginning," said Bates, whose team trailed 32-22 at intermission. "We just broke down. They had some shooters."

"Sonora's always tough," Morris added.

Ceres High will face visiting Livingston today and host Central Catholic on Thursday. The Western Athletic Conference games will get underway at 7:30 p.m.