A model of consistency under Shawna Nunes’ guidance from 1993-2011, Ceres High’s varsity girls basketball program collected 365 wins, captured one section championship, claimed six league titles, secured 15 playoff berths, won at least 20 games 10 times and surpassed the 30-win mark twice.
The Bulldogs haven’t experience much success since Nunes’ retirement.
Ceres High’s streak of failing to make the playoffs reached six years this past winter.
“Right now, there’s not a lot of excitement around Ceres High girls basketball,” second-year head coach Mike Estrada Jr. said. “We want to change that. For me, a successful season would be getting a winning record.”
Ceres High’s top returners are Mia Rodriguez (So.), Catryna Marquez (Jr.), Lysaida Munoz (Jr.) and Celeste Leon (So.).
The Bulldogs’ top newcomers are Mya Robinson (Sr.), Thanya Gonzalez (Fr.), Melannie Gonzalez (Jr.) and Gurmenjit Bahia (Sr.).
Rodriguez, a guard, earned Central California Conference honorable-mention recognition as a sophomore.
She averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 assists per game.
Marquez averaged 8.2 points, 3.7 steals, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Munoz averaged 8.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Leon averaged 6.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals.
“I expect a lot of big things from this group,” Estrada said. “We’re going to focus on playing really good defense and getting quick points in transition on offense.”
Ceres High compiled an 8-17 overall record and won four of 14 games en route to a sixth-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings last season.
The Bulldogs totaled just five wins, including three in WAC play, the previous year.
Ceres High’s conference schedule will include games against Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop, Mountain House, Los Banos and Pacheco.
Beyer and Lathrop shared the league title with identical 13-1 records last winter.
“There’s not really one clear-cut favorite in the WAC,” Estrada said. “I definitely think we have the talent to compete with any team out there.”