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Youth-laden CHS wrestling team concludes dual season
First-place CV boys extend winning streak
Ceres High freshman girls basketball player Dominique Koeurn shoots from the outside versus Livingston. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity wrestling team fell short of its goal for Western Athletic Conference dual-meet action this year.

The Bulldogs posted a 2-4 record en route to a fourth-place finish.

"We shouldn't hang our heads," Ceres High head coach Steve Festa said. "Our athletes work hard and don't quit. I can't be more proud of the effort. I'm keeping things in perspective. We have a young team. The kids got better. It's just the beginning of something great."

Ceres High's lineup consisted of 14 grapplers, including seven freshmen and two newcomers to the sport.

The Bulldogs closed out the WAC dual-meet season with a 41-33 loss at Livingston on Feb. 5.

"I'm not going to take anything away from Livingston," Festa said. "They deserved to get the win. It came down to the last match."

Ceres High's Jose Arita (285s), Abel Morales (222s) and Daniel Raya (147s) all won by pin versus Livingston.

Cameron Thatcher (134s) won by decision.

Brian Quintanilla (172s) and Tomas Medina (197s) both won by forfeit.

Bulldog teammates Tyler Cazares (220s), Diego Duran (160s), John Alba (152s), Jorge Sandoval (152s), Nick Santibanez (140s), Aiden Moore (126s), Roman Acosta (120s), Luis Camarillo (113s) and Michael Vargas (106s) also contributed during the dual-meet season.

Ceres High lost 46-24 at Los Banos on Jan. 8.

"We fell short of our goal of continuing a winning tradition" Festa said. "We did our best. We didn't quit. I didn't approach the season any differently because of our lack of experience. I still had the same expectations."

The Bulldogs will host the WAC tournament on three mats inside Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Saturday.

The meet will get underway at 9 a.m.

The top four individuals in each weight class advance to Divisonals.

"I expect three-quarters of our lineup to move on," Festa said. "We'll have a lot of local support. It's an advantage for us."

Central Valley High School's junior-varsity boys basketball team collected two more league wins and improved to 19-5 on the year.

The Hawks remained in a tie for first-place in the WAC following last week's sweep of Patterson and Los Banos.

Central Valley and Central Catholic have identical 8-1 records. The Hawks and Raiders will share the title if both teams win out.

"It's really exciting to think about that as a possibility," Central Valley head coach Jordan Dickson said. "I'm just trying to make sure they stay focused."

Central Valley escaped with a 58-54 victory while facing host Patterson on Friday.

Larenz Johnson (17), Reuben Rodriguez (16) and Simeron Singh (13) combined to score 46 points for the Hawks.

Visiting Central Valley overcame a sluggish start and rolled to a 55-42 victory over Los Banos on Wednesday.

Rebuen had a team-high 17 points.

Larenz scored 15 points.

Moses Ghiorso added eight points.

Frosh Dawgs win one of two
Ceres High's and Central Catholic's first-place freshman boys basketball teams faced off last week.

Montell Bland scored inside at the buzzer to lift the Raiders to a 47-45 homecoming win over the Bulldogs on Friday in Modesto.

Ceres High dropped to 18-4 on the year and 8-1 in the WAC.

Central Catholic improved to 20-5 and 10-0.

"Neither team played exceptionally well," Bulldogs head coach Tracy Bull said. "Give Central Catholic credit."

Haadyn Martinez scored a game-high 19 points for Ceres High.

Ismael Ontiveros and Elijah Niblett both tallied eight points.

Ceres High squandered a 15-6 lead in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs routed the Wolves 68-32 on Wednesday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Nick Jones had a team-high 12 points.

Ontiveros, Martinez and Jacob Langan scored 10, nine and eight points, respectively.

CHS girls nearing perfection
Ceres High's freshman girls basketball team continued its dominance on the hardwood last week.

The Bulldogs bested two opponents, improved to 16-0 on the year and kept their perfect record intact in WAC play (9-0).

"Team communication is the most important thing," Ceres High player Julia Pata said. "We work really well together."

The Bulldogs secured their 16th-consecutive victory with a 39-11 win over Central Catholic on Thursday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Aliyah Smith paced Ceres High with a game-high 14 points.

Alexis Contreras tallied 11 points.

Ceres High outscored Central Catholic 26-6 in the opening half.

The Bulldogs limited the Raiders to five points after intermission.

Moreno, Contreras and Smith scored 20, 17 and 12 points, respectively, while lifting Ceres High to a 65-28 win over host Livingston on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Pata collected eight points.

Kendall Meyer added four points.

Raimee Mendoza and Dominique Koeurn both had two points.

The Bulldogs led 34-16 at the break.

"I'm very happy," Ceres High head coach Kristen McClure said. "I can put anyone in and they know the plays. They've gone past my expectations."