Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team enjoyed a positive ending to the 2013-14 season.
The Bulldogs bested the Central Catholic Raiders 39-35 on Feb. 18 in Modesto.
"Winning at their place is awesome," Ceres High head coach Heather Jones said. "Central Catholic has a good team. It was a very physical game from the start."
The Bulldogs (5-7) tied for third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with crosstown-rival Central Valley.
Ceres High won five of its final seven games.
"I'm surprised we ended the season like that," Jones said. "It was depressing in the beginning. We've changed so much as a team. We grew together."
Karina Ceja, a 6-foot-2 post player, scored a season-high 14 points against Central Catholic.
Nicole Bates and Alyssa Sanchez tallied seven and five points, respectively.
Edith Peralta and Perla Vargas both totaled four points.
Triana Burgess and Adriana Haynes contributed two points each.
Kinsey Ward had one point.
Freshman Danielle Freidrich scored a game-high 17 points for the Raiders.
Kourtney Mitchell added 13 points.
The Bulldogs scored nine straight points on their way to building an 11-4 lead in the first quarter. Burgess, Ceja, Haynes, Peralta and Vargas chipped in with two points apiece.
The Raiders faced a 22-10 deficit at halftime.
Ceja collected eight points in the second quarter.
"The day before the game, we worked on a new offense for their defense," Jones said. "That really helped."
Central Catholic routed Ceres High 49-33 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Feb. 6. The Raiders secured a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V playoffs.
Ceres High endured an 0-5 start to the WAC season.
The Bulldogs reeled off three straight wins. Ceres High beat Central Valley (48-47), Pacheco (50-45) and Livingston (45-31).
"When we finally won, that boosted our confidence," Jones said. "That lit a fire under our butt. We concentrated on the games ahead of us. I'm so proud of them. Next year, we'll have a pretty good team. I see a bright future for girls basketball."