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Dawgs battle Hawks
Free-throw struggles prove costly for Ceres High girls
Ceres Highs Rayohna Sagapolu (15) tries to score inside against Central Valleys Adriana Haynes. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity girls basketball team missed 23 foul shots during Thursday's 45-38 home loss to crosstown-rival Central Valley.

"They made their free throws and we didn't," Bulldogs head coach Chad Hammond said. "That's the story. That's the difference."

Ceres High dropped to 9-10 on the year and third in the Western Athletic Conference (3-2).

Central Valley improved to 8-10 overall and took over sole possession of second place in the WAC standings (4-1).

"We didn't have our best game," Hammond said.

Bulldog junior post player Harmen Bahia had 18 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs, versus the Hawks.

"It was a pleasant surprise she was that productive," Hammond said. "It couldn't happen to a better girl. She's been working hard at practice."

Rayohna Sagapolu chipped in with nine points and 16 rebounds.

Natalia Cortez, Kaylee Holloway and Camryn Silva contributed five, three and two points, respectively.

Shelby Veuve had one point.

Ceres High shot 38 percent (14 of 37) from the foul line.

Alexis Contreras had a team-high 13 points, Blanca Espinoza scored 11 and Adriana Haynes added 10 to lead Central Valley.

Delores Uti, Rosie Duarte and Sue Dhillon finished with six, three and two points, respectively.

The Hawks shot 56 percent (15 of 27) from the charity stripe.

Ceres High trailed 30-18 at intermission. The Hawks outscored the Bulldogs 19-9 in the second period.

"We got into foul trouble and had to sit some key players," Hammond said. "They (Cortez, Sagapolu and Silva) had to watch. Give Central Valley credit. They took advantage."

The Bulldogs and the Hawks entered the game tied for second place in the WAC standings.

Contreras and Haynes, former Ceres High players, filled key roles during last week's crosstown showdown.

"There's nothing you can do about that," Hammond said. "That's water under the bridge. You think about the here and now. You play the girls on your team."

The Hawks improved their all-time record versus the Bulldogs to 12-10.