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CHS boys edge out Pacheco
Gage Mastropierro
Gage Mastropierro and Central Valley’s boys basketball team ended a 10-game losing streak with a 70-62 win over Merced on Wednesday in Ceres. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s boys basketball team experienced the highs and lows of competing last week.

The Bulldogs won in thrilling fashion while battling Pacheco, got edged out by Beyer and challenged Lathrop in defeat.

Ceres High dropped out of playoff contention.

“Right now, our biggest thing is finishing the season strong,” head coach T.J. Walker Jr. said. “That’s our goal.”

Fifth-place Ceres High improved to 9-14 overall and 4-6 in the Western Athletic Conference standings after beating sixth-place Pacheco by the slimmest of margins on Friday in Los Banos.

Sophomore Manuel Ortega buried a baseline jumper from the left corner with 6 seconds remaining to lift the Bulldogs to a 43-42 victory over the Panthers.

He also blocked Pacheco’s potential, game-winning shot at the buzzer.

“It wasn’t a fluke,” Walker said while talking about Ortega’s clutch shot. “That’s what he does. He can score from all three levels.”

Ortega totaled four points and five rebounds versus the Panthers.

Lebron Stallworth led the Bulldogs with 10 points and four rebounds.

AJ Brown had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Xzayvier Martinez had nine points and four rebounds.

Ceres High battled back from a 12-point deficit.

The Bulldogs trailed by four points with 57 seconds to play.

Brown hit a 3-pointer to cut Pacheco’s lead to one prior to Ortega playing the role of hero.

Ceres High lost 76-70 in overtime to fourth-place Beyer on Wednesday in Modesto.

“It’s starting to become a rivalry,” Walker said. 

Brown tallied 17 points, four assists and three rebounds.

Stallworth had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Ontiveros had 12 points and four assists.

Ricky Stanley had 10 points and five rebounds.

Ortega had eight points and six rebounds.

“We were up late,” Walker said. “We just couldn’t pull it out in regulation.”

Third-place Lathrop defeated Ceres High 55-38 on Jan. 23 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Lathrop outscored Ceres High 49-28 the rest of the game.

“We played tough in the first half,” Walker said. “We went the other direction in the second half. We didn’t have a good scoring night.”

Hawks end losing streak

Central Valley’s boys basketball team defeated Merced and lost to Atwater in Central California Conference play last week.

The Hawks snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 70-62 win over Merced on Wednesday in Ceres. 

“It’s good for the kids’ confidence,” said head coach Mike Rodriguez, whose team lost 69-65 in overtime to the Bears earlier this season.

Central Valley had a host of contributors on offense.

Gage Mastropierro had 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Jayson Casias had 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Cameron Bradshaw had 10 points, four assists and two rebounds.

Alex Prado had eight points, five rebounds and one assist.

Central Valley dropped to 7-17 overall and 1-7 in the CCC standings on Friday after being beaten 79-36 by host Atwater.

The undefeated Falcons improved to 25-0 and 9-0.

“We tried to compete,” Rodriguez said. “You can’t make mistakes against them. They’re too good. They’ve beat some top competition. They’re big. They play fast. They got some guys that can shoot the ball. They’re a complete team.”

Casias led the Hawks with 15 points, five rebounds and one assist.

Mastropierro added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Jake Olson had four points, four rebounds and one block.

The Hawks climbed to sixth place in the league standings.


Ceres High’s girls basketball team moved to 5-17 on the season and 2-8 in the Western Athletic Conference standings this past week.

The Bulldogs accumulated one win and two losses.

Ceres High earned a season sweep of Beyer with a 62-27 victory on Jan. 24 in Modesto.

The seventh-place Bulldogs topped the sixth-place Patriots 39-32 on Jan. 5 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

“Winning always feels good,” head coach Megan McGill said. “I’m proud of our girls for taking care of business. They played to their potential.”

Ceres High’s Marissa Renteria and Jaleen Melendez combined for 40 points, eight  rebounds and seven assists versus Beyer.

Renteria tallied 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Melendez collected 18 points, three assists and one rebound.

“They took over and really led the way,” McGill said.

Ceres High held a slim 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs pulled away on the strength of a 21-point scoring barrage in the second period.

Ceres High underestimated Beyer early in the game.

“We have to expect to win every time we walk on the court,” McGill said.

Host Ceres High rallied late in the game before losing 46-37 to third-place Pacheco on Jan. 26.

The Panthers defeated the Bulldogs 53-36 on Jan. 9 in Los Banos.

Arrayah Stallworth led Ceres High with 12 points, five rebounds and one assist during the rematch.

Sovannary Carter had 10 points, seven rebounds and one assist.

Melendez had five points, one rebound and one assist.

First-place Lathrop bested Ceres High for the second time this season.

The Bulldogs fell 62-29 on the road to the Spartans on Jan. 23.

Lathrop won the first meeting, 51-25, at home on Jan. 3.

Renteria had eight points, five rebounds and two assists in defeat.

Carter had eight points and one rebound.

Ally Gamboa Rozell had five points and two steals.