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Dawgs best Knights in tourney play
Sovannary Carter
Sovannary Carter and Ceres High’s girls basketball team bested Delhi, Central Valley, Venture Academy and Stoneridge Christian during the preseason. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Ceres High School’s girls basketball team compiled a 1-2 record at the Dec. 15-17 Leaders of the Pack Tournament at Livingston.

The Bulldogs dropped their tourney finale, 42-25, to the Sierra Timberwolves on Dec. 17.

“We were short two players,” head coach Megan McGill said. “They were exhausted. They never gave up. That’s what I appreciate about them.”

Marissa Renteria led Ceres High with eight points, four steals and two rebounds.

Sovannary Carter had six points, four rebounds and one steal.

Makenna Azavedo had five points and three rebounds.

Jaleen Melendez had five points and three steals.

Gabby Rebello had two points and one steal.

Ceres High lost 45-32 to the host Livingston Wolves on Dec. 16.

Renteria tallied 22 points, six rebounds and six steals.

Melendez had five points, four rebounds and one steal.

Carmen Espinoza had three points, four rebounds and one assist.

Nehemiah Valenzuela had two points.

Ceres High defeated Stone Ridge Christian 41-34 on Dec. 15.

Renteria collected 18 points, eight steals and five rebounds versus the Knights.

Espinoza had eight points and four steals.

Carter had five points.

Valenzuela had four points and two assists.

Valeria Arroyo had two points, two rebounds and two assists.

Melendez had two points, two rebounds and one assist.

Emma Sexton had two points.

Ceres High compiled a 4-9 record during the preseason. The Bulldogs notched wins against Delhi, Central Valley, Venture Academy and Stoneridge Christian.

Hawks win once

Central Valley’s girls basketball team posted a 1-12 record versus its preseason opponents.

“We’re taking advantage of practice time to sharpen areas (during winter break),” head coach Ryan Donnelly said. 

The Hawks collected their lone win against Stone Ridge Christian (39-36) on Nov. 23 in Merced.

Central Valley lost to Enochs (64-27), Orestimba (36-19), Hilmar (45-19), Ceres High (40-33), Johansen (50-17), Millennium (33-28), Grace Davis (56-41), Edison (48-24), Pacheco (42-10), Gustine (31-26), Central Catholic (48-27) and Riverbank (62-25). 

“Offensively, we started to improve towards the end of the preseason,” Donnelly said. “We still have a lot to work on. I’d like to see us play smarter, commit fewer turnovers and play more mistake-free games.”

The Hawks were outscored, 555-296, in defeat.

“You can’t win games unless you score,” Donnelly said. “We got to score consistently and take care of the ball. That’s what’s keeping us from going to the next level.”


Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s boys basketball programs competed at the Third Annual Livingston Holiday Classic this past week.

The Hawks won one of three games en route to a fourth-place finish at the eight-team event.

Central Valley posted an 82-70 victory over Buhach Colony on Dec. 28.

Gage Mastropierro scored a team-high 22 points.

Cameron Bradshaw added 17 points.

Jeremy Alvarez and Jomari Ocasiones both contributed 13 points.

Jayson Casias collected seven points.

Bradshaw and Andrew Ruiz both had six points.

Jake Olson totaled four points.

Central Valley lost 77-48 to Livingston on Dec. 29.

Casias tallied a team-high 18 points.

Mastropierro added 13 points.

Central Valley dropped to 6-8 in preseason action after losing 67-61 to Modesto High in the third-place game on Dec. 30.

The Bulldogs won two of three games on their way to claiming the consolation championship.

Ceres High defeated Buhach Colony 63-55 on Dec. 30.

Ceres High topped Hilmar 48-37 on Dec. 29.

Ceres High lost 58-50 to Calaveras on Dec. 28.

The Bulldogs amassed a 5-8 record during preseason play.

Ceres High bested Orestimba, Elk Grove, River Valley, Hilmar and Buhach Colony.

Julyanna Valencia
Julyanna Valencia and Central Valley’s girls basketball team will begin CCC play this Thursday with a home game against Merced. Tipoff slated for 7:15 p.m. The Hawks collected one win during the preseason. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo