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CHS trounces Central Valley
As members of Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team headed to the locker room after Friday night's 76-35 walloping of crosstown rival Central Valley at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium, Bulldogs standout Brett Sayad remained on the court to celebrate with his schoolmates.

The 6-foot-7 senior forward-guard finished with a game-high 27 points, including four 3s.

"I knew it would be a blowout, but I didn't think it was going to be this bad," Brett said. "We had the crowd behind us. It's a good feeling. It just gives you that much more confidence."

Added Hawks junior guard Trevor Mew: "They wanted it more. They outhustled us. We just didn't get it done."

Sayad got plenty of help from his teammates during Ceres High's homecoming game.

Thomas Vanderlaan, Marcus Hilgen and Lance Hunter all scored in double figures for the Bulldogs, who improved to 4-2 in the Valley Oak League conference. Vanderlaan had 12 points. Hilgen and Hunter both contributed 10 points. Justin Canatsy, Scott Meyer, Tony Bradford and Manpreet Atwal added seven, four, three and two points, respectively.

Junior Robert Morgan led the 2-4 Hawks with 12 points.

Mew, Yama Noorzai and Sean McLeod, Central Valley's top three players, combined for just 12 points. Mew tallied nine points on three 3s. Noorzai had three points. McLeod failed to score.

Rick Rogers, Brian Blunt and Tony Marques chipped in six, three and two points, respectivly.

Central Valley never posed a threat thanks in large part to Ceres High's unselfish play and scrambling defense. The Bulldogs used the same formula to knock off Sierra, Manteca and Oakdale.

"We just never let up," Brett said.

Ceres High jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the opening three minutes against Central Valley.

Hunter put back an offensive rebound while getting fouled and converted the subsequent free throw to complete the 3-point play.

Vanderlaan drained a jumper from the foul line.

Hilgen and Sayad hit 3s from the right and left wings, respectively.

"We came out hot. They came out not," Brett said. "That got the crowd into it."

Added Mew: "We just came out flat. I don't know how that happens in a game like this."

Trevor buried back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Hawks within five, 11-6, midway through the opening quarter.

The Bulldogs answered with a 21-1 surge to increase their lead to 25 with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter.

Sayad had 10 points on two treys, a pair of free throws and a mid-range jumper.

Vanderlaan totaled four points on a layup and offensive rebound putback.

Hunter scored inside and buried of one two foul shots.

Canatsy made a 3-pointer from the right baseline.

Hilgen added a free throw.

Ceres High outscored Central Valley 40-24 in the second half.

Brett put the exclamation point on the win when he threw down a two-handed dunk on a breakaway with 4:16 to play in the fourth quarter.

"I guaranteed a dunk tonight," Sayad said. "I had to get one. I should have had three but I got hacked on my first two attempts."

A running clock was utilized for the final 3:51. The mercy rule went into effect after Canatsy put the Bulldogs ahead by 41 with a pair of free throws. His second freebie capped a 15-3 run.

Ceres High's and Central Valley's student cheering sections traded barbs in the closing minutes. The standing-room-only crowd expected a close game.

"We want a refund!" Bulldog fans yelled in unison several times.