By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dawgs exact revenge against Tigers with 49-38 homecoming upset
Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team thoroughly entertained its homecoming fans during Friday night's 49-38 upset win of Los Banos.

The Bulldogs earned their most impressive victory of the season. Fourth-place Ceres High (7-17, 5-4) knocked the Tigers (7-2) into second place behind Central Catholic (9-1) in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

"It's so special to win on homecoming," Ceres High junior Caden Johnson said. "It's wonderful the crowd is so supportive of us no matter what. This is the best overall performance we've given all year."

Binder Atwal made four treys and 10 of 12 foul shots en route to scoring a game-high 24 points while starring on offense for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore Harman Chung collected 11 points.

Johnson, Jr. Garcia and Abel Reyes added nine, three and two points, respectively.

Atwal and Johnson tallied 30 and 11 points, respectively, in Ceres High's 77-61 at Central Catholic on Wednesday.

Joey Bennett, Los Banos' star player, scored 16 points. He was limited to just six points through the first three quarters. Bennett totaled 28 points in the Tigers' 56-42 victory against the Bulldogs on Jan. 11.

"We weren't going to let him beat us this time," Ceres High head coach Brian de la Porte said.

Los Banos cut a 37-26 deficit to three with 3:36 left in regulation.

The Bulldogs ended the Tigers' comeback attempt with a 12-4 run. Atwal and Johnson led the way with six points apiece. Caden buried two foul shots and a pair of floaters from the left baseline. Binder scored all of his points on free throws.

"I love attacking the basket," said Johnson, who doubled his offensive output for the first three quarters in the final period. "That's been my money shot for a while."

Ceres High trailed 20-17 heading into the second half.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 17-6 in the third period.

Los Banos averaged 59.7 points per game through its first eight league contests.

"We did the little things right tonight," Atwal said. "We changed up our defenses so they'd get mixed up. We played our butts off. It encourages us for our next three games."

Added de la Porte said. "All of the kids did a great job."

Johnson and his Ceres High teammates were greeted with handshakes and hugs following the stunning upset.

"This is what it's all about," said de la Porte, who paced the sideline, yelled and stomped his feet during the course of the game. "We're fighting for a playoff berth."

The Bulldogs have won four of their last five games.

Ceres High ranked 19th in the first installment of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings. The top 16 teams qualify for the playoffs at the end of the regular season.

"A win like this gives us confidence," Johnson said. "It sparks our hopes for playoffs."