CERES -- Ceres High rode a red-hot start to a 12-point halftime lead over the Valley Oak League's top team Wednesday, but the percentages -- and UC Santa Barbara-bound James Nunnally -- eventually caught up with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-5-inch Nunnally had 18 of his 32 points in the second half, as Weston Ranch overtook Ceres in the final three minutes for an 82-76 win -- keeping the Cougars (17-6, 9-0) perfect in league.
Ceres' 6-7 Brett Sayad scored 25, including 20 in the second half, in a showdown between the league's top two forwards.
"The people who watched this definitely enjoyed, because there were a few times that Brett and Nunnally would answer each other's shots with one of their own," Ceres coach Jason Martin said.
Sayad picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, and spent most of the first half on the bench. But Ceres went 6-for-7 from 3-point range to take a 46-36 halftime lead. Lance Hunter (17 points) and sophomore Marcus Hilgen (16 points) had two treys each in the half.
Weston Ranch finally caught up with the Bulldogs (12-10, 5-4) with three minutes remaining, thanks in part to their free-throw shooting. Nunnally was 11-for-11 and the Cougars were 25-for-36.
"We don't like to give up that many points," Martin said, "but it was probably one of the most enjoyable high school games we've had in a while."