By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Spartans eliminate Bulldogs
Placeholder Image
The Ceres High girls basketball team got its wish: a rematch with Central California Conference rival Davis.

Ceres, which lost twice to Davis during the regular season, faced the Spartans in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Playoffs on Saturday at Galt High School.

Davis eliminated Ceres from the playoffs. The second-seeded Spartans outscored the No. 10 seeded Bulldogs 14-6 in the first quarter and defeated Ceres 55-38.

"The better team won," said Ceres coach Shawna Nunes, who's compiled an 0-7 record against Davis since Ashley Walker's arrival in 2001-2002.

"They really dominated inside."

The Spartans improved to 26-3 overall and advanced to play No. 6 seeded Sheldon in the semifinals today at the University of the Pacific at 7:30 p.m. Sheldon topped No. 3 seeded Nevada Union 52-48 in the quarterfinals Saturday morning.

Ceres finished the year at 21-8.

Seven Davis players scored.

Walker scored 19 points and collected 15 rebounds.

Latonya Dunham had 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

Maria Sanchez and Renee Schneider had six points apiece.

Rachel Ottovich, Kelly Lejarzar and Lauren Clark scored five, three and two points, respectively.

Seven Ceres players scored.

Quantelle Daniels had a team-high 13 points, Krystle Brown added 12 points and Heidi Eisenbeis scored four points. Jennifer Arnold, Heather Jones, Jessica Mazza and Kelsey Sayad had two points apiece. Heather Mazza added one point.

Ceres missed 8 of 11 free throws (27 percent).

Davis made 11 of 16 from the foul line (69 percent). The Spartans also held a 32-30 rebounding advantage.

"We didn't play well," Nunes said.

"You can't have that kind of night in a quarterfinal playoff game."

Ceres trailed 29-20 at halftime. Walker scored eight points in the first quarter.

The Spartans outscored the Bulldogs 26-18 in the second half.

Ceres committed nine turnovers in the game. Davis had 10.

Bulldogs advance

Ceres High ended Tokay's season Thursday night in Lodi. The No. 10 seed Bulldogs beat the No. 7 seed Tigers 55-52 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Playoffs.

"Tonight, we came in ready to play," Daniels said. "We were focused."

Ceres improved to 20-7 overall and advanced to the section quarterfinals. Tokay finished the year at 18-9.

Six players scored for Ceres, which shot 73 percent from the free-throw line (11-for-15).

Daniels had a team-high 19 points. Brown, Meghan Franksen and Heather Mazza scored 18, eight and five points, respectively. Eisenbeis scored three points. Sayad added two points.

Daniels sat out the entire second quarter after picking up two fouls in the first. She scored 17 points in the second half.

"I came back in the third quarter and I was mad," Daniels said.

Six players scored for Tokay, which shot 61 percent from the foul line (11-for-18).

Alysha Young finished with a team-high 19 points. Joyelle Amick scored 14 points. Rachel Coward and Serena Hubbard had six points apiece. Natalie Schallberger had five points. Dani Davis added two points.

Ceres trailed 50-46 with 2:54 remaining. The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 9-2 in the final 2:37 as Daniels and Heather Mazza took over. They accounted for Ceres' final nine points. Daniels scored six straight and Mazza made 3 of 4 free throws. Mazza scored all eight of her points in the second half, including 6 of 7 free throws.

Tokay had a chance to tie and/or take the lead three times in the final 20.7 seconds. Young, who scored 13 points in the second half, missed 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch. Her two-point attempt from just above the free-throw line was blocked by Daniels as the buzzer sounded. Young tried to knock down the shot and draw a foul, which could have led to a game-tying three-point play.

"We knew it was going to be an even game," Daniels said.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 10-6 in the first quarter and led by three, 18-15, at halftime.

Down 31-25, Tokay scored nine straight points to turn a four-point deficit into a 33-31 lead with 2:15 remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs responded with a 7-2 run to take a 38-35 lead heading into the final quarter. Daniels and Brown scored 10 and six points, respectively, in the third quarter.

Ceres accomplished a lot this year. The Bulldogs finished second in the CCC standings and advanced past the opening round of the playoffs for the second year in a row and won more than 20 games.

"At the beginning of the season, a lot of people didn't think we'd do well," Nunes said. "We finished in the top eight in the section. We made it one round further than eight other teams."

All but one of Ceres' players could return to the team next year, including juniors Brown, Franksen, Eisenbeis, Sayad and Heather Mazza, sophomores Jessica Mazza and Jennifer Arnold and freshman Heather Jones. Daniels, a four-year varsity player, graduates in June.

"Eight of the nine will come back," Nunes said.

Ceres has never failed to make the playoffs under Nunes' guidance. She has been head coach for 11 years. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier