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Split for Bulldogs
Ezekiel Lopez
Ezekiel Lopez and Ceres High’s boys basketball team dropped its WAC opener, 62-33, at Lathrop on Jan. 4. - photo by Photo courtesy of WAYNE THALLANDER

Ceres High School’s girls basketball team secured a split during the opening week of Western Athletic Conference play.

Megan McGill earned her first league victory as head coach of the Bulldogs on Thursday.

Ceres High improved to 5-10 overall and 1-1 in the WAC standings after beating the visiting Beyer Patriots, 39-32, at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

“The win was nice,” said McGill, who coached the Bulldogs at the lower-level for three seasons prior to being promoted to the varsity position. “It was a close game. We could have done some things better.”

Marissa Renteria led Ceres High with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Arrayah Stallworth added six points and eight rebounds.

Carmen Espinoza had six points and two rebounds.

Ally Gamboa Rozell had four points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

The Bulldogs and Patriots battled for four quarters.

“It wasn’t until the last minute and a half of the game that we sealed the win,” McGill said.

Host Ceres High dropped its WAC opener, 51-25, to Lathrop on Jan. 3.

Renteria paced the Bulldogs with 12 points, four rebounds and one assist.

Jaleen Melendez collected seven points, two rebounds and two steals.

Sovannary Carter had four points and 11 rebounds.

The Spartans dominated from start to finish.

“I don’t feel the score represented how competitive we were,” McGill said. “We were getting open shots. Our shots weren’t falling.”

Hawks fall

Central Valley fell to 1-13 on the season and 0-1 in the Central California Conference following its 44-14 loss to Merced on Jan. 5 in Ceres.

Jannet Valencia led the Hawks with four points.

Marion Dennison tallied three points.

Makayla Dennison, Janessa Godinez and Jennifer Mejia Gonzales all contributed two points.

Julyanna Valencia had one point.


Central Valley’s boys basketball team dropped its Central California Conference opener at Merced in stunning fashion this past week.

The Bears prevailed, 69-65, in overtime Friday evening.

Merced erased a five-point deficit late in the fourth quarter.

“I’ve been a part of some tough losses in the past,” Central Valley head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “This one hurts big time. I feel really bad for the kids. They played hard. Both teams battled.”

The Hawks fell to 6-10 overall and 0-1 in the CCC standings.

The Bears improved to 9-9 and 1-1.

Central Valley and Merced committed a combined 75 turnovers, including 38 by the Hawks.

“It was a really physical game,” Rodriguez said. “We did what we wanted to on defense but didn’t take care of the ball on the offensive side.”

The Hawks had four different players score in double figures.

Jomari Ocasiones tallied 18 points, three assists and two rebounds.

Gage Mastropierro collected 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Jayson Casias chipped in with 12 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Jeremy Alvarez added 11 points, four rebounds and three steals.

Central Valley squandered a five-point lead in the final 14 seconds of regulation.

Merced’s improbable comeback started when Aiden Cervantes was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer.

He made his first two free throws before missing his third attempt.

The ball was tapped to John Simpson, who forced overtime when he buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“It was a heartbreaker,” Rodriguez said.