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Lady Bulldogs pound Pacheco Panthers, edge out Central Catholic
Ceres High School varsity girls basketball fans stood and cheered following Thursday's thrilling 31-29 victory over host Central Catholic.

The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. Ceres High dropped seven of 10 league games last season.

"It took every single person to win the game," Bulldogs head coach Vanessa Morris said. "It was a great team effort. They played hard the whole game. It shouldn't have been as close as it was. We got to clean some things up."

Ceres High's Bryce Ford, the 2010-11 WAC MVP, scored a team-high 15 points. She made just 3 of her 18 foul shots.

Ashton Frampton and sophomore Allison Gunter both contributed seven points.

Breanna Freitas and Ryleigh Honberger each had one point.

The Bulldogs knocked off the Raiders despite shooting a horrific 24 percent (8 of 33) from the free-throw line.

Ceres High also had a breakdown on defense in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. Central Catholic's Samantha Romeo missed an uncontested shot near the left side of the basket. The Raiders should have forced overtime.

"I thought it was going in," Morris said. "We got lucky."

Added Gunter: "It was a relief."

Ceres High trailed 24-19 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs outscored the Raiders 12-5 in the final period. "We didn't give up," Allison said. "We kept playing hard."

Frampton's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 24-22 with 6:31 left in regulation. Ceres High evened the score at 24-all when Gunter registered a steal on defense and converted a layup. Allison assisted on Bryce's layup, which capped a 7-0 run and put the Bulldogs ahead 26-24.

Alexis Alegre's 3-pointer from the right baseline gave the Raiders a 27-26 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Ceres High responded with back-to-back baskets courtesy of Ford.

Kristin Alamo's layup brought Central Catholic within a point.

Gunter's offensive rebound and subsequent foul shot put the Bulldogs ahead 31-29 with less than 10 seconds to play.

"I'm just glad that I can play," said Allison, who formerly lived in Tennessee before moving to California with her family. "It's been a really fun opportunity."

The Bulldogs moved to 7-7 on the year. The Raiders dropped to 12-5 and 0-2.

Ceres High won its WAC opener, 42-11, against Pacheco on Tuesday, Jan. 3 in Los Banos.

Ford led the way with 17 points.