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Bulldogs make statement with blowout win
Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team turned a battle for first place in the Western Athletic Conference with Livingston into a blowout during the first quarter.

The Bulldogs raced out to a 17-4 lead and never looked back in overwhelming the Wolves 72-49 in front of a capacity homecoming crowd Friday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Ceres High improved to 13-6 overall and 4-0 in the WAC standings.

Livingston dropped to 12-10 and 4-1.

"The target's on our back," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said. "It's been that way for a few weeks. We've been playing pretty well. Confidence has something to do with it."

Edgar Lopez, John Dhillon and Binder Atwal, Ceres High's trio of talented guards, combined to score 45 points against Livingston.

Lopez had a team-high 17 points.

Dhillon and Atwal tallied 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Bulldogs teammates Tre Haynes, Chris Hilgen, George Borden, Jose Nava and Beau Pimentel chipped in with nine, eight, four, three and two points, respectively. Jeremy Cagle added one point.

Brian Alvarez buried five treys on his way to tallying a game-high 29 points for the Wolves.

Ceres High wasted little time putting away Livingston.

The Bulldogs had a commanding 17-1 lead late in the first quarter. Atwal scored eight points. Dhillon collected five points. Lopez and Beau Pimentel both contributed two points.

Haynes provided the biggest highlight of the game. The senior forward excited Ceres High supporters in the third quarter with a two-handed putback dunk.

"We're a fun team to watch," de la Porte said. "Hopefully, they (our fans) come out again."

Ceres High will host crosstown-rival Central Valley today at 7:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs hold a 3-2 head-to-head record against the Hawks.

Ceres High beat Central Valley twice last year. The Bulldogs overcame a 17-point deficit during the final meeting of the season.

"For us, it's another big game," de la Porte said. "From past year's experience, you never know what to expect. They're going to play their hardest and we will too."