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Dawgs pull off upset against Cougars
After thoroughly dominating for three quarters, Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team fended off a furious rally by Weston Ranch to win 68-58 Wednesday night in Valley Oak League play at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

John Dhillon and his Bulldog teammates were greeted by fans after upsetting the previously-unbeaten Cougars.

"We put in hard work at practice and it showed," said Dhillon, whose game-high 18 points helped Ceres High end a three-game slide. "We needed to win this game. We couldn't afford another loss."

Justin Canatsy added 12 points for the Bulldogs. Lance Hunter, Mark Schwark, Edgar Lopez, Tyler Cummings, Katero Lebeau, George Borden and Vineel Kumar had nine, eight, six, five, four, three and two points, respectively.

Ceres High broke out of an offensive slump by burying a season-high nine 3-pointers, including two by Dhillon, Canatsy and Schwark, and one by Hunter, Lopez and Borden.

"We've been shooting like crazy at practice," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said. "We shot two hours on Saturday and two hours on Monday."

Ceres High outscored Weston Ranch 20-10 in the first quarter on its way to building a 36-25 lead in the opening half.

"We handled the pressure extremely well," de la Porte said.

The Bulldogs' student section erupted after Canatsy drilled a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs ahead 57-34 late in the third quarter.

"This place was rocking," de la Porte said. "We're trying to get more fans out."

Ceres High did just enough in the final period to avoid a complete collapse.

Bulldog players yelled "Finish" in unison while breaking a huddle during a timeout with 5:36 to play.

"We were relaxed," Dhillon said. "We're good under pressure."

John buried a trey and all four of his foul shots en route to tallying seven points in the fourth quarter. The first-year varsity point guard shouldered more of the scoring load during the course of the game.

"He's got to do that more often," de la Porte said. "That was awesome."

Dhillon's clutch play was just one of many bright spots during Ceres High's triumph over Weston Ranch. The Bulldogs (9-8, 3-3) bounced back after sustaining losses to three league opponents (Manteca, Sonora and Sierra).

"It's a huge victory for our team," de la Porte said. "I'm proud of my guys."