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Dawgs drop basketball season opener
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With seven practices, four morning shoot-arounds and a scrimmage under its belt, Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team opened the 2008-09 regular season with a 69-53 setback at Livingston on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

The loss spoiled the debut of first-year head coach Brian de la Porte. He replaced Jason Martin, who stepped down after leading the Bulldogs to four playoff berths in nine years. Brian, a 1999 Ceres High graduate, was his assistant for two seasons.

"I wasn't nervous," de la Porte said. "Honestly, it just felt like another game to me. Not a lot has changed. I just have more responsibility now."

The Bulldogs were led by Justin Canatsy, who finished the contest with 14 points. Marcus Hilgen and Tony Bradford scored 10 and seven points, respectively. Martino Bertolotti, Lance Hunter and Devaun McGregor all had six points. Mark Schwark added four points.

Six-foot-5 center Harnarinder Johal tallied a game-high 26 points, 21 rebounds and eight blocks for the Wolves.

Brian Rivera, Jurpreet Sangha and Dorian Campos combined for 34 points and seven of Livingston's eight treys.

Rivera had 13 points and two 3s.

Sangha made three 3s on his way to totaling 11 points.

Campos finished with 10 points, including two 3s.

Brian Alvarez and Gabriel Del Toro contributed seven and two points, respectively. Alvarez had one 3-point field goal.

On the strength of its suffocating defense, Livingston jumped out to a 42-27 lead in the opening half.

"We didn't do a very good job of handling the press," de la Porte said. "That's something I thought we'd be ready for. I give credit to Livingston. That's a tough team to play for the first game of the year."

The Bulldogs made the non-league contest interesting by outscoring the Wolves 18-8 in the third period.

"We could have got blown out by 30," said de la Porte, whose team trailed by just five points at 50-45 heading into the final period. "We weren't going to let that happen. We came back and made it a game in the second half. We handled the press. We were patient. We played better defense. It would have been nice to win."

Eagles 75, Hawks 57

Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team showed a lot of heart in dropping its season opener 75-57 to the Enochs Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 25 in Modesto.

The Hawks nearly rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit before tiring out.

"We made a very good run in the third quarter and cut it to six," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "I was really happy with that."

The Hawks had three players reach double figures in scoring, including Trevor Mew, Robert Morgan and Keymonte Wooten.

Mew buried four treys en route to tallying a team-high 14 points.

Morgan totaled 11 points.

Wooten, a freshman guard, netted 10 points and two 3s in his varsity debut.

The Hawks buried 16 of their 21 free throws and eight 3-pointers during the contest.

Four Eagles scored in double figures, including Marcus Bell (15 points), Scott Robertson (13 points), Tyler Wasden (10 points) and Abel Watts (10 points).

Central Valley fell behind 37-19 in the opening half.