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Bulldogs throttle Hawks
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With his team comfortably ahead in the second half, Ceres High junior-varsity boys basketball head coach Brian de la Porte emptied his bench.

The substitutions included seldom-used guard Derrick O'Brien. He was cheered every time he touched the ball.

"Everybody just loves him," de la Porte said. "He's a really good kid."

O'Brien missed all three of his shots from the field but did manage to convert one of two free throws with one-tenth of a second to play as the Bulldogs trounced host and crosstown rival Central Valley 83-55 on Friday. Derrick was mobbed by his teammates after the final horn sounded.

"He only got to play in three games all year," de la Porte said. "For most games, he's our filmer."

Edgar Lopez led Ceres High in scoring with 23 points. Brandon Jolley, Katero Lebeau, Tyler Cummings, Vineel Kumar, Chris Green and Mark Schwark contributed 22, 13, 11, eight, three and two points, respectively.

The Bulldogs won four of their final five games to secure a tie for fifth place in the Valley Oak League standings with Sierra at 7-7.

"We finished strong," de la Porte said. "That was our goal."

Salinder Singh made four treys en route to scoring a game-high 28 points for Central Valley, which placed last in the conference standings (0-14). William Mestas, Gary Ney, Xavier Bridges and Derek Hill tallied eight, seven, four and three points, respectively. Michael Santos and Oscar Tovar chipped in two points each. Jose Barragan added one point.

The Hawks led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Momentum swayed in the second quarter as the Bulldogs accounted for 14 of the final 15 points in the final 5:37. Jolley and Kumar had seven and three points, respectively. Lebeau and Lopez both scored two points. Vineel's trey from the right baseline put Ceres High on top 29-20 with 7 seconds to play.

The Bulldogs broke the contest open by outscoring the Hawks 54-35 during the final 16 minutes.

"A lot of our points came from outhustling them," de la Porte said.