Ceres High's varsity boys water polo team didn't lose to Buhach Colony because of a lack of effort.
The Bulldogs were simply overmatched by the Thunder.
Third-seeded Buhach Colony defeated 12th-seeded Ceres High 16-2 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs on Nov. 1 in Atwater.
"We were seeded against a tough team," Bulldogs' head coach Bill Campbell said. "They beat us pretty handily. They were bigger, stronger and faster."
Buhach Colony (22-6) beat sixth-seeded Atwater 10-6 in the quarterfinals.
The Thunder and Falcons placed first and second, respectively, in the Central California Conference standings.
Ceres High reached one of its two goals this season.
The Bulldogs returned to the playoffs following a two-year absence.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished," Campbell said. "We worked hard all year long to get to that point. We played well together as a team."
Ceres High compiled an 11-8 overall record and finished second in the Western Athletic Conference (6-3).
"They practiced hard," Campbell said "They played hard. It showed in the success they had."
The Bulldogs lost three times to WAC-champion Pacheco (9-0).
"I wish we would have won the league title," Campbell said. "They weren't that much better than us. They wore us down. When we made a mistake, they capitalized. They just got the job done."
Ceres High will lose six players to graduation, including Ethan Letras, Sebastian Alvarado, David Johnson, Joseph Rodriguez, Jacob Black and Daniel McElwain.
Letras, Alvarado, Johnson and Rodriguez were starters.
"They all did everything I asked them to do," Campbell said. "It's sad to see them go. The underclassmen have to step up and fill those shoes."
The Bulldogs will compete in the revamped WAC in 2018.
"We don't know what to expect with eight teams being in our league next year because of realignment," Campbell said. "It will be a big change for us."