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Lady Bulldogs contribute to own downfall
Ceres High struggles from free-throw line
Karina Ceja finishes inside during the Bulldogs 40-35 loss to the Wolves. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team contributed to its own demise.

The Bulldogs converted just 10 of 25 foul shots during Thursday's 40-35 Senior Day loss to Livingston at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"It's no fun losing," Ceres High head coach Heather Jones said. "If we make our free throws, we win the game. We do practice them. I feel like we should spend a lot more time doing it."

Ceres High dropped to 4-7 in the WAC.

The Wolves improved to 3-8 in league play.

The Bulldogs have won four of their last six games.

Ceres High opened conference play with five straight losses.

"We struggled at the beginning of the season," Jones said. "We've improved so much. We're young. This is a building year."

Jessica Arreola (medical conference) and Triana Burgess (illness) did not play last week.

"It would have helped having them," Jones said. "They would have contributed."

Bulldog sophomore Nicole Bates scored a team-high 13 points against the Wolves.

Perla Vargas had eight points.

Karina Ceja and Alyssa Sanchez both contributed four points.

Freshman Adriana Haynes, Edith Peralta and Kinsey Ward all tallied two points.

Sanchez and Peralta, Ceres High's two seniors, were recognized prior to the start of the game.

Livingston's Yareli Milan led all scorers with five treys and 18 points.

Denise Reis, Crystal Zazueta, Esther Calderon and Dominique Braden collected six, five, four and three points, respectively.

Savannah Gonzales and Maribel Valencia both had two points.

The Wolves split with the Bulldogs this year.

Ceres High defeated Livingston 45-31 on Feb. 4.

"We just had a bad day," said Bates, who played all 32 minutes during the second meeting between the two teams. "Our shots weren't falling. We needed to move around more on offense and box out."

The Wolves battled back from a 5-0 deficit en route to building a 9-6 lead in the first period.

The Bulldogs trailed 17-16 at the break.

Livingston outscored Ceres High 23-19 in the second half, including 11-5 in the third quarter.

Bates' basket cut the deficit to 28-23 with 6:43 left in regulation.

The Wolves increased their lead to 35-25 with a 7-2 run. Milan hit a 3-pointer. Gonzales and Calderon contributed two points each.

Down 40-32, Ceres High missed six of nine free throws in the final 1:46.