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Cunha hits game-winning shot in title game
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Charlie Cunha hit an 8-footer with 6 seconds remaining to lift the Ceres High varsity boys basketball team to a 49-48 victory over Lodi in the championship game of the Ceres Holiday Tournament Thursday night.

Lodi's Chris Sieglock missed a potential game-winning shot from midcourt as time expired.

"There was six seconds left and I had to make a move," Cunha said. "I knew I was going to make it."

Added Ceres coach Jason Martin: "It was a big shot."

Cunha claimed the tournament MVP award. Teammates Derrick Goblirsch and Zack Wiedenbeck made the all-tourney team.

The Bulldogs won three games, and improved to 6-6 overall. Ceres defeated Weston Ranch and Argonaut.

"That was our goal," Martin said. "To get to .500 (in the standings before league play starts)."

Cunha managed to score a game-high 16 points against Lodi, including 11 in the second half, despite being slowed by a sore back.

Rafael Valencia, Bryant Hill, Wiedenbeck and Goblirsch added 10, seven, six and five points, respectively, for Ceres, which placed first at its home tourney for the first time since 2002.

Adam Budselich had a team-high 11 points, Paul Duerr scored nine and Aaron Wilson added eight for the Flames, who fell to 5-8 overall. Lodi's Kevin Taylor, Ryan Chiene, Ryan Fischer and Chris Sieglock tallied seven, six, four and three points, respectively.

Down by 11 at halftime, Lodi outscored Ceres 15-11 in the third quarter to get within seven points, 38-31, heading into the final quarter.

The Flames outscored the Bulldogs 17-11 in the fourth.

Lodi went on a 12-5 run and took its first lead of the game, 48-47, when Fischer made a pair of free throws with 37.5 seconds remaining.

"We should have beat them by 30," Cunha said. "We got our lead and relaxed."

Added Martin: "We played horrible in the second half. Our post defense was terrible. We had too many turnovers. We need to play better."

Ceres outscored Lodi 14-8 in the first quarter and led 27-16 at the break. Valencia scored eight points, including four in each quarter.

The Bulldogs shot 26 percent (8-for-31) from the field and 70 percent (7-for-10) from the free-throw line in the first half. The Flames shot 25 percent (6-for-24) from the floor and 67 percent (4-for-6) from the foul line.

Ceres shot 31 percent (17-for-55) from the field and 57 percent (8-for-14) from the foul line for the game. Lodi shot 35 percent (17-for-49) from the field and 60 percent (9-for-15) from the charity stripe.

Goblirsch had a team-high 16 points, Cunha scored 10 and Wiedenbeck added nine in leading the Bulldogs to a 66-40 rout over Weston Ranch Wednesday night.

Ceres outscored the Cougars 18-4 in the second quarter, and shot 72 percent (23-for-32) from the foul line.

Cunha and Wiedenbeck accounted for 13 of Ceres' 30 points in the first half. Cunha had eight points. Wiedenbeck had five points.

Goblirsch scored 10 points in the second half, including eight in the final quarter. Wiedenbeck had four points in the fourth.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures in defeating Argonaut 74-51 in the first round of the Ceres tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

Hill had a season-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Wiedenbeck, Schwark and Goblirsch added 15, 12 and 10 points, respectively. Schwark buried two 3-pointers.

Casey Ryan led Argonaut with a game-high 19 points.

The Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 15-8 in the first quarter, and led by 15 points, 36-21, at the break. Wiedenbeck, Hill and Goblirsch scored nine, eight and six points, respectively, in the first half.

Ceres extended its lead to 21, 59-38, in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 15-13.

Schwark scored seven points in the second half.

Ceres shot 38 percent (3-for-8) from the free-throw line. Argonaut shot 67 percent (18-for-27) from the foul line.

The Bulldogs play their first league game tonight at Modesto High. The game starts at 7:15 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier