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Ceres High boys win consolation title
Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team got off to a rocky start against East Union in the consolation title game of the 52nd Modesto City Classic.

Behind the stellar play of Justin Canatsy, Vineel Kumar and John Dhillon, the Bulldogs overcame a 10-point, first-quarter deficit in a 62-55 victory over the Lancers on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Enochs High.

"I was proud of the way they battled tonight," Ceres High head coach Brian de la Porte said. "They played smart."

Canatsy, an all-tournament selection, poured in 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half.

Dhillon scored all 11 of his points after intermission. He buried three treys and a pair of free throws.

Kumar finished with 11 points, eight of which came in the second quarter.

Tyler Cummings contributed seven points.

Mark Schwark and Lance Hunter had six points apiece.

Katero Lebeau and Edgar Lopez added four and two points, respectively.

Ceres High post player Beau Pimentel was sidelined with a knee injury.

"That's my role on the team," Vineel said while talking about contributing off the bench. "Whatever I can do to help my team, I'll do it."

The Bulldogs outscored the Lancers 22-13 in the fourth quarter, including 14-5 in the final four minutes.

Ceres High tied the game at 50-all when Hunter put back an offensive rebound with 3:53 to play.

Dhillon's 3-pointer from the left wing put the Bulldogs ahead for good, 53-50, at the 3:07 mark.

"We stayed patient and executed," said Kumar, who helped the Bulldogs secure the victory with a key steal down the stretch.

Ceres High never panicked despite falling behind 14-4 in the opening 5:40 of the first quarter.

"It's been like that the last four games," de la Porte said. "I'm not calling timeouts. The kids got to figure it out."

Added Kumar: "We kept fighting."

The Bulldogs and Lancers will play each other twice in Valley Oak League play.

The two teams tied for last place last year with identical 3-11 records.

Ceres High (3-1) will compete in the Tracy Winter Holiday Tournament this week.