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Downs, JV Bulldogs keep on winning
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Center Steven Downs scored 16 points to lift the Ceres High JV boys basketball team past Johansen 57-50 on Friday in Ceres.

Ray Green and Andrew Chipponeri added 11 and nine points, respectively, for the Bulldogs, who improved to 2-0 in the Modesto Metro Conference, 10-1 overall. The Bulldogs have won eight straight games since losing to Sierra on Nov. 24.

T.J. Devito and Edgar Pulido both scored 10 points for the Vikings, who fell to 0-2 in the league standings.

"That game shouldn't have been that tight," said Ceres coach Jim Pernetti. "We played defense standing up instead of getting down and stopping the ball. We were firing up shots. We need to take time off the clock and pound it in a little bit more. Johansen grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. There's no excuse for that. I guarantee you it's going to change."

The Bulldogs outscored the Vikings 27-20 in the second half, including 13-10 in the final quarter. Chipponeri had three points and Downs and Brett Sayad both scored two points during a 7-0 Ceres run, which put the Bulldogs ahead 55-44 with 3:01 remaining.

Johansen trailed 44-40 at the end of the third quarter.

Ceres shot 28 percent (11-for-40) from the floor (11-for-40) and 55 percent (6-for-11) from the free-throw line in the second half. Johansen shot 25 percent (9-for-36) from the field and 33 percent (2-for-6) from the foul line. The Vikings had 12 turnovers, six more than the Bulldogs.

Each team scored 30 points in the first half. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier