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Bulldogs pound Wolves
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Brett Sayad threw down a left-handed dunk over a defender. Bryant Hill buried a 3-pointer from the right wing. Kevin Dupree scored off an offensive rebound. Andrew Chipponeri threaded a pass to Steven Downs inside the key for an uncontested layup.

The Ceres High varsity boys basketball team drew oohs and ahhs from its home fans on opening night last week.

“I liked the way we were unselfish with the ball,” Bulldogs coach Jason Martin said.

Added Hill: “We worked as a team tonight.”

Said Livingston coach Angelo Naldi: “We were outmanned.”

The Bulldogs built an 18-point lead in the first quarter and cruised to an 81-47 victory over the Wolves at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium on Nov. 22.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, including Hill, Downs, Dupree and Ross Tate. Tate finished with 17 points, including 13 in the first quarter. Downs had 14 points. Hill and Dupree each had 12 points.

The Wolves had just one player score in double figures. Jetlinder Singh had 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

Ceres made 9 of 15 shots from the field en route to building a 20-2 lead in the first quarter. Livingston missed 22 of 23 shots.

Sayad put the Bulldogs ahead 13-2 at the 3:31 mark with an impressive dunk off a steal. Downs, Hill and Tate followed with a layup, 3-pointer and layup, respectively.

Tate accounted for the Bulldogs' first 11 points.

“That's Ross,” Martin said. “He plays harder than everybody else.”

Ceres outscored Livingston 23-16 in the second quarter for a 43-18 halftime lead. The Bulldogs made 8 of 12 shots from the floor and 5 of 7 shots from the free-throw line. Sayad, Dupree, Hill, Tate, Downs, Brad Muniz and Matt Schwark all contributed. Muniz and Sayad both scored seven points. Dupree, Hill, Tate and Downs each had two points. Schwark added one point.

The Bulldogs scored 38 points in the second half, 10 more than the Wolves. Dupree and Downs both tallied 10 points. Hill and Ryan Ketchum added seven and three points, respectively. Tate, Muniz, Schwark and Chipponeri each had two points.

Ceres shot a sizzling 53 percent (33-for-62) from the field and a respectable 79 percent (11-for-14) from the free-throw line for the game. The Bulldogs made five 3-pointers, including two by Hill and Muniz, and one by Sayad.

Livingston shot 20 percent (15-for-74) from the floor, 38 percent from 3-point range (10-for-38) and 45 percent (5-for-11) from the foul line.

“I thought it was going to be a tougher game,” Hill said.

Added Martin: “That's a team we should beat.”

Ceres will face stiffer competition at the Modesto City Tournament this week. The Bulldogs play Manteca on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Atwater on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Golden Valley on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. All three games will be held at Modesto High School.

“We're going to have to get a lot better and work harder in practice,” Martin said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier