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Jones lifts Ceres High Lady Dawgs
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Heather Jones put on an offensive showcase during the Ceres High varsity girls basketball team's 59-33 rout of Modesto Metro Conference foe Johansen Thursday night in Ceres at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

The junior guard scored 15 of her game-high 17 points in the first quarter. Jones buried two 3-pointers and was a pest on defense.

“This is the best performance I have ever had,” Jones said. “I don't know what happened. I just got really confident.”

Said Bulldogs coach Shawna Nunes: “She played a great game tonight.”

Ceres improved to 11-2 overall, 2-0 in the MMC.

Johansen fell to 9-5 overall, 0-2 in the league standings.

Jennifer Arnold, Jessica Mazza, Kristen McClure, Kyleesha Williams and Cassie Rayford chipped in 15, 11, eight, four and three points apiece for the Bulldogs, who rebounded from a less-than-stellar league opener on Jan. 3. Ceres made just 7 of 18 free throws in a 37-35 win over the Modesto High Panthers.

The Bulldogs shot 44 percent (24-for-55) from the field, 64 percent (7-for-11) from the free-throw line and forced more than 20 turnovers against the Vikings. Ceres limited Johansen to 36 percent shooting (14-for-39).

“We made up for the Modesto game,” Jones said.

Added Nunes: “We have to play like this every night. It was intense. And that's what I like to see.”

The Bulldogs played flawless basketball for the first 16 minutes, outscoring the Vikings by 27, 42-15, on 18-for-35 shooting.

“I was expecting a close game,” Jones said. “Our team got really hot in the first half.”

The Bulldogs built a commanding 23-9 lead in the first quarter. They made 9 of 17 field goals and all three of their free throws.

Jones scored 12 straight points in the span of 4:03.

“I've never done that before,” Jones said. “I couldn't believe it.”

Ceres will play host to the Downey Knights tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. and Davis Spartans on Saturday at 4 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier