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Bulldogs place second at Ceres Holiday Tournament
Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team entertained its home fans at the 31st Annual Ceres Holiday Tournament last week.

The Bulldogs finished in second place with a 2-1 record. Ceres High was also runner-up last season.

"The whole team did a good job," head coach Brian de la Porte said.

Senior guards John Dhillon and Edgar Lopez were named to the all-tournament team.

Dhillon, Ceres High's top returner from a season ago, averaged 20.3 points per game.

Lopez averaged 12.3 points per contest.

"John's a very smart player," de la Porte said. "Edgar gives us some firepower off the bench."

Ceres High edged Pitman 40-35 for third place on Wednesday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Dhillon scored a team-high 13.

Lopez and Chris Hilgen collected nine and six points, respectively.

Binder Atwal, Jimbo Pernetti and Tre Haynes all had four points for the Bulldogs, who led 15-8 at intermission.

"We took a big step forward grinding out a close win," de la Porte said. "The kids were tired. We played six games in seven days."

Ceres High lost 70-63 to powerhouse Modesto Christian in front of a large crowd on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Dhillon (22) and Lopez (20) combined to score 42 points.

Hilgen had seven points.

Atwal and George Borden both tallied six points.

Jose Nava contributed two points.

The Bulldogs rallied from a 22-14 deficit.

Ceres High was up by two points with three minutes left in regulation.

"We were right where we wanted to be," de la Porte said. "But just couldn't finish. It was a battle."

The Bulldogs shot 77 percent (10 of 13) from the free-throw line.

Ceres High routed Beyer 67-54 on Monday, Dec. 20.

Dhillon poured in a career-high 26 points.

Hilgen also had a career-night with 21 points.

Lopez, Atwal, Nava and Pernetti tallied eight, six, four and two points, respectively.

The Bulldogs held an insurmountable 53-32 lead heading into the final period.

Ceres High won one of three games at the Rocklin tournament the previous week.

The Bulldogs (6-5) will open Western Athletic Conference play on Jan. 7.

"We've played a brutal preseason schedule," de la Porte said. "It helped us prepare for league. Every game, we're getting better. Our kids know we can win a championship. They also know it's going to be a grind."