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JV Bulldogs settle for runner-up honors in Ceres
CHS frosh boys finish second at BC tournament
Rayohna Sagapolu (15) helped propel Ceres Highs junior-varsity girls basketball team to a second-place finish at its home tournament earlier this month. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's junior-varsity girls basketball team suffered its first loss of the 2014-15 season on Dec. 13.

The Wildcats of Sonora defeated the Bulldogs 43-23 in the finals of the Ceres tournament at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Ceres High dropped to 6-1 on the year.

"It wasn't one of our best games," Bulldogs head coach Kristen McClure said. "It just wasn't our day. We'll play them again on Dec. 30. We'll be better prepared."

Ceres High's Leena Bassi scored a team-high six points against Sonora.

Breanna Moreno, Callie Nunes, Kaylee Holloway and Natalia Cortez all tallied four points.

Rayohna Sagapolu had one point.

The Bulldogs trailed 25-7 at intermission.

Sonora outscored Ceres High 15-3 in the first period.

"Sonora played a 1-3-1 defense the whole game," McClure said. "We haven't practiced against that. We couldn't get the ball past half court much. We got flustered. They also had a lot of good 3-point shooters. Sonora has a great all-round team. We'll do better next time around."

The Bulldogs compiled a 2-1 record en route to a runner-up finish at their home tournament.

"The girls were pretty upset we lost," McClure said. "They're so used to winning. It happens. We're not invincible. I'm still happy we got second place. We just need to work harder at practice."

Sagapolu, a defensive standout, earned all-tourney honors. She averaged 6.3 points per game.

"She deserved it," McClure said. "She's a hard worker and a good player. She hustles. She'll do whatever you need her to do."

Ceres High routed Grace Davis 45-4 during the Dec. 12 semi-final matchup.

All but one of the Bulldogs' players scored versus the Spartans.

Bassi led the way with eight points.

Julia Pata had seven points.

Sagapolu and Cortez both contributed six points.

Moreno, Nunes and Alexis Contreras chipped in with four points apiece.

Holloway and Alondra Arroyo collected three points each.

Raimee Mendoza added two points.

Ceres High outscored Grace Davis 26-2 in the opening half.
Sagapolu tallied a game-high 12 points during Ceres High's 34-14 first-round blowout of Downey on Dec. 11.

Contreras totaled nine points.

Nunes and Cortez each scored four points.

Moreno and Pata had two points apiece.

Frosh Dawgs take 2nd
Ceres High School's freshman boys basketball team had high hopes heading into the Buhach Colony round-robin tournament this past week in Atwater.

"We're the defending champs," Bulldogs head coach Tracy Bull said. "If we play to our potential, we can beat anybody."

Ceres High had to settle for runner-up honors after falling 72-66 to Buhach Colony in overtime on Saturday.

"Certainly, we're very disappointed," Bull said. "We didn't want to lose. We didn't close out an opponent we're better than."

Inder Sandhu buried 8 of 18 shots on his way to tallying a team-high 25 points.

Cristian Garcia totaled 20 points. He shot 10 of 15 from the floor.

Gurraj Purewal and Adrian Magdaleno scored eight points each.

Donnavin Koeurn and Monte Wallace contributed three and two points, respectively.

Buhach Colony attempted 19 more free throws than Ceres High.

"I don't want to blame the referees," Bull said. "But it was absurd. We got called for three times as many fouls even though we attacked the basket. They shot jumpers."

Ceres High cruised to a 53-37 win over Merced on Friday.

Garcia connected on 13 of his 22 field-goal attempts and finished with a season-high 31 points.

"He's a really good player," Bull said. "He's very physical. If he matures enough, he'll be able to play varsity next year. He has a lot of potential."

Purewal and Sandhu added 10 and eight points, respectively.

Wallace and Magdaleno each had two points.

Ceres High edged Atwater 48-45 on Thursday.

Purewal led the way with 16 points.

Cristian Anderson collected nine points.

Garcia, Magdaleno and Sandhu chipped in with eight, six and four points, respectively.

Austin Schmidt scored three points.

Wallace tallied two points.

The Bulldogs have won six of seven games this year.

"Overall, I'm pretty darn happy," Bull said. "We have a really good team."

Ceres High will play in Orestimba's three-team tournament this Friday and Saturday.