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Dawgs dominate Wildcats
Needing a win to keep its postseason hopes alive, Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team obliterated Sonora 75-53 Friday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"We just came out ready to play," Bulldogs standout Brett Sayad said. "Thank God. We needed that so bad."

Added Ceres High assistant coach Jim Pernetti: "We swarmed and our big guys were physical."

The win helped the Bulldogs snap a four-game losing streak.

Ceres High improved to 13-12 on the year, including 6-6 in the Valley Oak League.

The Wildcats dropped to 12-13 overall, 5-7 in conference play.

Ceres High entered last week ranked No. 17 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings, one spot ahead of Sonora.

The top 16 teams will be awarded postseason berths in the coming week.

"Every game is a playoff game right now," Pernetti said.

Sayad tallied all 18 of his points in the first half, helping the Bulldogs race to a 39-23 lead.

"I didn't score the whole second half, but that doesn't bother me at all," Sayad said. "We won the game. That's what's important."

Ceres point guard Marcus Hilgen had 13 points. Senior center Thomas Vanderlaan totaled 10 points. Sophomore forward Lance Hunter and junior guard Martino Bertolotti both contributed nine points. Sophomore guard Justin Canatsy and junior center-forward Scott Meyer chipped in four points each. Junior guard Rajdeep Singh and junior forward Devaun McGregor scored three points apiece. Junior forward-guard Tony Bradford added two points.

"When Thomas plays physical, we've always played well," Pernetti said.

Sayad received a friendly nudge in the back from Sonora's Brenden Evans while talking about the importance of Friday's win in a postgame interview.

Sayad and Evans, two of the VOL's premiere players, put on a show. Evans netted 13 of his game-high 20 points in the opening half.

The Bulldogs will host Oakdale today and play at Central Valley on Friday with tip-off slated for 7:15 for both contests.

"If we win out, we make the playoffs," Sayad said.