Nicole Bates and Bryce Ford played major roles while propelling Ceres High’s varsity girls basketball squad to a respectable third-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
The duo was recognized during the WAC year-end coaches meeting on Feb. 16 in Livingston.
Bates, a freshman point guard, and Ford, a fourth-year standout, were both selected to the WAC First Team.
Nicole averaged a team-leading 15 points per game.
She scored in double figures in 10 of 12 conference games for the Bulldogs, who compiled a 7-5 record.
Bates poured in a career-high 27 points in Ceres High’s 51-46 win over crosstown-rival Central Valley on Jan. 22.
Ford averaged 14.6 points per game.
She also reached double figures in scoring 10 times.
Bryce tallied a season-high 32 points against Los Banos.
“I’m really happy with how we did this year,” Bates said. “I’m not going to lie. I was really surprised with how I performed. It’s the best I’ve ever played.”
Central Valley’s Brittany Martinez earned first-team, all-conference honors for the second year in a row.
The 6-foot-2 senior center averaged 14.9 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game for the fourth-place Hawks (6-6).
“Our offense went through her,” Central Valley head coach Jesse Padilla said. “She had her share of big games.”
Martinez scored 18 points as Central Valley closed out the WAC season with a 51-42 win over Ceres High on Feb. 7.