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Dawgs top Crusaders
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Coach Jason Martin and the Ceres High varsity boys summer basketball team gathered outside the Modesto Junior College gymnasium after posting a 53-52 win over Modesto Christian, the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champs, on Tuesday, June 7.

"We played hard," Martin said. "We took care of the ball. The intensity was great. We're going to get better."

The outcome might have been different if Modesto Christian's top two players participated against Ceres.

Adrian Oliver was relegated to the bench with a sore ankle. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard made a verbal commitment to play basketball for the University of Washington. He also received scholarship offers from Kentucky, Cal, Gonzaga, New Mexico and San Diego State.

Porter didn't play because he had to attend a basketball clinic. The 6-foot-3 point guard made a verbal commitment to play for Tubby Smith and the University of Kentucky. Porter, a standout quarterback/cornerback, was recruited by USC for football.

"I wanted to face them," said Ceres point guard Brad Muniz, who finished with 12 points, including two 3-pointers. "It would have been a challenge."

Ceres outscored Modesto Christian 24-22 after intermission. Eight Bulldogs scored, including Muniz, DaAron Grays, Kevin Dupree, Matt Schwark, Brett Sayad, Ross Tate, Bryant Hill and Ray Green. Grays had six points, including one 3-pointer. Muniz, Dupree and Schwark all had four points. Sayad and Tate each had two points. Hill and Green added one point.

Ceres led by as many as 11 in the second half. The Bulldogs took control with a 17-4 run.

"We had a nine-point lead with four minutes to go," Martin said.

"I wish we would have done a better job getting the ball inside."

The Crusaders scored nine of the game's final 11 points. The Bulldogs failed to convert three free throws.

Modesto Christian didn't score on its final two possessions. The Crusaders dribbled the ball out of bounds with nine seconds remaining and missed a short from halfcourt as time expired.

The Bulldogs trailed 30-29 at halftime. Muniz accounted for eight of Ceres' points.

"I felt good today," he said. "I had fun."

Added Martin: "I'm happy. But we still have things to work on." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier