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Ceres High varsity boys finds offensive rhythm against Johansen
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The Ceres High varsity boys basketball team blew a nine-point, fourth-quarter lead in losing 50-44 at Johansen on Jan. 6. The Bulldogs got revenge on the Vikings Saturday night at Ceres' Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Kevin Dupree scored 16 points, Brett Sayad had 15 points and Steven Downs added 10 points in Ceres High's 70-39 rout of Johansen.

Matt Schwark and Bryant Hill both tallied eight points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 12-7 overall, 4-3 in the Modesto Metro Conference. Ray Green and Ross Tate finished with five and three points, respectively.

“We needed this big time, especially coming off that big loss to Modesto,” Bulldogs forward Brett Sayad said. “We played smart tonight. We need to play like this every game.”

Brian Bergerson led Johansen (2-4) with 13 points. Ryan Gonchar and Jordan Coenen added nine and eight points, respectively.

The Bulldogs built a commanding 30-16 lead in the first half on 11-for-35 shooting from the field and 7-for-11 shooting from the free-throw line. Ceres High scored 18 points in the paint, including 12 off six offensive rebounds.

Ceres High outscored Johansen 17-7 in the second quarter.

Sayad had six points. He converted two free throws, a layup from the right baseline and Downs' missed free throw.

Downs and Dupree each had four points. Dupree scored twice inside off offensive rebounds. Downs made a layup and both of his free throws.

Hill buried a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 1.1 seconds remaining. The ball bounced on the rim several times before going in.

The Bulldogs expanded their lead to 18 in the third quarter on 7-for-12 shooting.

Ceres High totaled 25 points in the fourth, 15 more than Johansen. Nine Bulldogs scored, including Dupree with six, Downs with four, Green and Tate with three, Sayad, Hill, Schwark, Adarsh Brar with two and Andrew Chipponeri with one.

The Bulldogs shot 43 percent (27-for-63) from the field and 58 percent (14-for-24) from the foul line for the game.

The Vikings shot 23 percent (11-for-48) from the field and 64 percent (14-for-22) from the charity stripe.

Members of the Ceres High varsity boys basketball team exited the locker room with disappointment on their faces after losing 60-40 at Modesto High Friday night.

The Bulldogs failed in their bid to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season. Modesto High defeated Ceres High for the second time this month as it won the first meeting by a score of 59-46 Jan. 4 in Ceres.

“We had good practices all week,” said Downs, who led the Bulldogs with eight points. “I don't think we came out with enough intensity. I expected a two or three point game.”

The Bulldogs never found an offensive rhythm. They settled for outside shots rather than getting the ball inside or scoring off dribble penetration.

“That was our downfall,” Downs said. “Three-pointers.”

Added Ceres coach Jason Martin: “That's exactly the opposite of our game plan. They tried taking the easy way out.”

Ceres High will play at Beyer today and host to Downey on Friday. Both games will get underway at 7:15 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier