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Girls experience disappointing loss
Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team struggled to a second-to-last-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference a season ago.

Los Banos won a share of the league title.

The Bulldogs and Tigers had identical 2-0 WAC records prior facing off this past week.

Ceres High appeared headed for a blowout win before Los Banos' outside-inside duo of Alexis Barcellos and Brianna Harden went to work.

Barcellos buried six treys on her way to tallying a game-high 22 points, and Harden added 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks as the Tigers overcame a double-digit deficit and knocked the Bulldogs from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 46-43 victory on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"It's very frustrating," Ceres High all-everything Bryce Ford said. "I actually thought we were going to win. We'll do better next time."

The Bulldogs dropped to 2-1 in the league standings.

Los Banos (3-0) remained in a first-place tie with Patterson.

Ford tallied 10 of her team-high 15 points in the opening half.

Ashton Frampton and sophomore Allison Gunter both scored eight points for Ceres High.

Bulldog teammates Jessica Ellsworth and Breanna Freitas had seven and five points, respectively.

Ceres High converted just 11 of 22 free throws.

Los Banos made 11 of 17 foul shots.

"I don't know why we're struggling," said Ford, whose team shot just 24 percent (8-for-33) from the charity stripe in a 31-29 win over Central Catholic the previous week.

Ceres High led by as much as 11 points in the second quarter.

A 33-12 run helped the Tigers turn a 22-11 deficit into a 44-34 lead with 2:05 left in regulation.

"They hit some 3s and we didn't take care of the ball," Bulldogs head coach Vanessa Morris said. "Los Banos has a good team."

Barcellos, a standout in tennis last fall, made five treys and totaled 19 points during the final three periods. She had six points in the second quarter, five in the third and eight in the fourth.

Harden scored 10 points in the second half. Ford was limited to five points.

"Everyone knew she (Barcellos) was a good shooter," Bryce said. "We didn't get out to her fast enough."

Los Banos had fewer turnovers and more rebounds than Ceres High.

"We didn't value the ball," Morris said.

Added Ford: "We needed to execute better. They got a lot of weak-side rebounds. We didn't box out."

Junior Varsity

Ceres High School's junior-varsity girls basketball team had trouble finishing again.

The Bulldogs managed to score just 10 points in the second half of their 45-24 loss to undefeated Los Banos on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"Both teams did good," Ceres High player Larissa Vasquez said. "We just got tired."

The Bulldogs dropped to 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

The Tigers improved to 3-0 in league play.

Vasquez scored five points and grabbed four rebounds versus Los Banos.

Yvonne Verduzco had five points and three assists.

Tessa Corsaut collected four points and five rebounds.

Fulu Tevaseu tallied four points.

Breanna DeLeon chipped in with two points and 14 rebounds.

Edith Peralta contributed two points, six rebounds and three assists.

Alyssa Sanchez added two points.

The Bulldogs had 34 turnovers, the majority coming in the second half.

"We could have communicated a little more," Vasquez said. "We could have made better passes."

Ceres High trailed 16-14 at intermission

The Bulldogs were outscored 29-10 in the second half. "I thought we were going to continue doing good," Vasquez said.

Central Catholic rallied for a 33-26 victory over Ceres High on Jan. 5. The Raiders limited the Bulldogs to just six points in the final period. Ceres High led 16-9 at halftime.