Ceres High School's varsity boys water polo team failed to reach its goal of capturing back-to-back Western Athletic Conference titles this year.
The Tigers of Los Banos dethroned the Bulldogs with a 10-8 win in their home pool on Wednesday.
Second-place Ceres High needed to beat first-place Los Banos last week to claim a share of the WAC championship.
"It's extremely disappointing because I thought we had the talent to go undefeated this year," Bulldogs head coach Tracy Bull said. "We didn't do enough to win. That's the bottom line."
Ceres High dropped to 5-2 in the WAC standings.
Los Banos improved to 6-0 in conference play.
The Bulldogs lost 9-8 to the Tigers on Oct. 7.
Ceres High split with Los Banos last year, winning 13-6 and losing 12-10.
"We got a great rivalry going on with them," Bull said. "We got the two best teams in the league."
Bulldog Terry Brogdon had a team-high four goals in defeat last week.
Zachary Jones, 2012 WAC MVP, was limited to two goals.
Timothy Campbell scored twice.
Goalkeeper Sean Carr had 15 blocks.
Ceres High trailed 9-5 at the end of the third quarter.
Los Banos took control after Bulldog defensive team captain Ethan Campbell earned his third kickout and was assessed a red card.
Ceres High gave up two quick goals following Ethan's departure from the game.
"I thought we'd win up until Ethan got ejected," Bull said. "He's one of the best players in the league. I made a mistake by not calling a timeout and regrouping."
Ceres High had two goals disallowed during the contest, including one by Jones which would have cut the deficit to 10-8 with three minutes left in the game. Zachary's goal did not count because it was tallied when a Los Banos player was assessed a kickout for rough play.
"That was a huge momentum changer," Bull said.
Brogdon accounted for Ceres High's final goal. The Tigers shut out the Bulldogs during the final minute.
The Bulldogs made history last season by winning their first league title since 2004.
Seeking to repeat as WAC champion, Ceres High fell short of its goal.
The Bulldogs advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the third time in four years.