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CHS girls struggle
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Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team had 11 turnovers and allowed 20 points in the first quarter of Friday night's 56-40 Valley Oak League loss to visiting Sonora.

"It's been our nemesis all year," assistant coach Phil de la Porte said. "The good thing is the kids played hard. They didn't quit."

Jode Johnson scored a game-high 19 points for the Bulldogs, who never recovered after falling behind 20-7 in the opening eight minutes of play.

Stephanie Yankovich added 12 points.

Jamie Beck had a quiet eight points.

"It was very surprising," said Johnson, while talking about her team's horrific start. "It seemed like we were ready in the locker room. We just have to get everyone's minds on the same page."

It also didn't help that Ceres High shot just 48 percent (15 of 31) from the free-throw line.

Prior to tip-off, Johnson and her Bulldog teammates were in a jovial mood as their voices could be overheard from the locker room. Every player had the same look of disappointment on their face following the conclusion of the one-sided game.

"We didn't do what we were supposed to do," said Johnson, who fouled out with three minutes to play. "We just couldn't handle their press defense."

The Bulldogs (6-8) dropped two of three games to begin the VOL season. Ceres High beat Sierra 40-32 on Thursday in Manteca and lost 52-29 to visiting East Union on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The Bulldogs will play three times on the road this week. Ceres High travels to Manteca (Jan. 12), Weston Ranch (Thursday) and Lathrop (Friday).

When asked if Ceres High would turn things around, Johnson said: "I seriously don't know. We have the talent."

Frosh-soph girls lose

Sonora, Sierra and East Union defeated Ceres High School's frosh-soph girls basketball team in Valley Oak League play last week.

The Bulldogs lost 38-28 to the Wildcats on Friday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Jessica Ellsworth (13 points), Haley Fisicaro (five), Ashton Frampton (five), Bethany Mazza (three) and Laura Story (two) all scored for Ceres High.

The Bulldogs were edged out 38-35 by the Timberwolves on Thursday in Manteca.

Ellsworth finished with a team-high 14 points.

Ceres High squandered a 10-point lead in the second half.

The Bulldogs shot just 20 percent (2 of 10) from the foul line.

Host Ceres High struggled from start to finish during its 37-13 loss to the Lancers on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Mazza had seven points.

Fisicaro scored six points.