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Bulldogs wrap up preseason
Ceres High girls finish sixth overall at Pitman tourney
Ariel Knights opened the Pitman Tournament with a 48-43 loss to the host Pride on Dec. 28. Knights totaled five points. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team turned in a so-so performance at the Pitman Tournament this past week in Turlock.

The Bulldogs dropped two of three games on their way to a sixth-place showing.

"Overall, it wasn't a good tournament for us," head coach Kristen McClure said. "We just didn't play our best basketball. I don't know what happened."

Ceres High lost 29-17 to crosstown-rival Central Valley in the consolation finals on Wednesday.

"They have an all-around good team," McClure said. "They're physical. They play hard. I do give them a lot of credit. If both of us played to our potential, it would have been more competitive."

Bulldog standout player Nicole Bates was limited to five points.

Jasmine Moore also had five points.

Breanna Moreno collected three points

Ariel Knights and Jade Moore finished with two points each.

"Everyone had an off night," McClure said.

The Bulldogs and Hawks combined to score just 46 points.

"It's Ceres High and Central Valley," McClure said. "It's a rivalry. We know how each other play. Both teams play similar. Overall, it wasn't a good game. We're a lot better than that. We had a lot of unforced turnovers. We were rushing our plays. We weren't playing defense."

Ceres High hammered Hughson 53-38 on Dec. 29.

"We were playing good defense," McClure said. "We were passing the ball. We were making shots."

Bates scored a game-high 29 points. She converted 12 of 14 free throws.

Moreno and Jessica Arreola both netted five points.

Kaylee Holloway, Jade Moore and Leena Bassi all contributed four points.

Ally Hailey added two points.

Pitman escaped with a 48-43 win against Ceres High on Dec. 28.

"They have a good team," McClure said.

Bates led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points.

Bassi tallied 11 points.

Arreola and Knights both tallied five points.

Moreno chipped in with four points.

Jasmine Moore and Mahlena O'Neal contributed two points each.

Ceres High will begin Western Athletic Conference play this week with games against visiting El Capitan (Jan. 5) and host Los Banos (Thursday).

The Bulldogs posted a 7-6 record in non-league play.

"It's a clean slate now," McClure said.