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Ceres High basketball girls show resiliency
Bulldogs beat Tigers despite blowing big lead
Kaylee Holloway had nine points in host Ceres Highs 48-47 win over Los Banos on Thursday. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity girls basketball team built a 20-3 lead in the first quarter and appeared headed for a blowout win during last week's Western Athletic Conference opener versus visiting Los Banos.

Then the unexpected happened.

The momentum of the game shifted as the Tigers stunned the Bulldogs by cutting the deficit to two points in the second quarter.

Ceres High regrouped and eked out a 48-47 victory against Los Banos Thursday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"The girls showed a lot of resiliency," Bulldogs first-year head coach Chad Hammond said. "They didn't freak out. They responded in a positive way."

Ceres High improved to 7-8 on the year and 1-0 in the WAC standings.

The Tigers dropped to 8-9 and 0-1.

Camryn Silva scored a team-high 11 points for the Bulldogs.

Natalia Cortez and Kaylee Holloway collected 10 and nine points, respectively.

Rayohna Sagapolu and Shelby Veuve finished with seven points apiece.

Harmen Bahia had four points.

The Bulldogs did just about everything right in building a 17-point lead in the first period.

Silva had six points.

Cortez and Holloway both contributed five points.

Sagapolu and Bahia tallied two points each.

"Our defense got us the lead," Hammond said. "The pressure we applied they weren't expecting. We had a lot of fast-break opportunities."

The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 19-6 in the second period.

"We had them on the ropes at the end of the first quarter," Hammond said. "Everything was clicking. Obviously, we lost some composure allowing them to come back in the game. Los Banos switched its defense and put pressure on us. That caught us off-guard. You got to give them credit."

Cortez accounted for Ceres High's final points of the game when she converted a pair of free throws with 3:30 to play.

Los Banos failed to get a potential, game-winning shot off in the waning seconds. "Sometimes wins are ugly," Hammond said.