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Dawgs place first at home tourney
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The Ceres High varsity girls basketball team won its home tournament for the first time since 2000, cruising past Bret Harte, Atwater and Patterson this past week.

“We do not have a selfish team,” Bulldogs coach Shawna Nunes said.

Senior point guard Jessica Mazza was named tournament MVP. She was a major contributor on both offense and defense. Junior post player Kristen McClure made the all-tourney team.

“Jessica is playing the style of ball I always knew she could play,” Nunes said.

Ceres High (8-2) defeated Bret Harte 52-29 in the championship game of the inaugural Ceres Lions Club Tournament on Saturday.

“I knew we would win,” Nunes said. “I anticipated the game being closer.”

Added Mazza: “I thought it was going to be really tough.”

Mazza scored 12 points and blocked seven shots. McClure, Heather Jones, Cassie Rayford and Jordan Nash had 16, nine, five and four points, respectively. Erica Arellano and Jennifer Arnold each added two points.

Shawna Shires tallied a team-high 10 points for the Bullfrogs.

Ceres High took control in the first half, outscoring Bret Harte 23 -12 on 50 percent shooting. The Bulldogs made 11 of 22 shots from the floor. The Bullfrogs missed 20 of 24 from the field (17 percent). Mazza, McClure and Jones had seven, six and four points, respectively. Nash, Arellano and Arnold had two points apiece.

Ceres High led 39-19 at the end of the third quarter. McClure, Rayford, Jones and Mazza scored five, four, three and two points, respectively. Arellano added one point. The Bulldogs made 10 of 13 free throws.

The Bullfrogs shot just 16 percent from the floor (9-for-58) and 50 percent (8-for-16) from the free-throw line for the game.

Ceres High shot 43 percent (19-for-44) from the floor and 64 percent (14-for-22) from the foul line.

The Bulldogs earned the right to play for the title after posting a 50-39 victory over Atwater Friday night.

Mazza had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Ceres High, which led 35-17 at the break. Jones, McClure and Rayford scored 10, nine and eight points apiece.

Jasmine Willoughby scored 16 points for the Falcons.

Ceres defeated Patterson 38-28 Thursday night.

McClure finished with a game-high 19 points. Mazza and Jones each had eight points.

The Bulldogs maintained a 32-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Ceres limited Patterson to six points in the first quarter, two in the second and six in the third. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier