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Dawgs win two at MJC
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Kevin Dupree and the Ceres High boys summer basketball squad edged Escalon 46-42 on Thursday at Modesto Junior College.

Dupree scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the second half.

"It should have been a blowout," he said. "We missed layups and didn't box out, which gave them second chances."

Brett Sayad, Joe Gallo and Brad Muniz added 11, six and four points, respectively, for the Bulldogs, who improved to 4-3 in the standings at Modesto JC.

"I'm happy with how we did," said Ceres High assistant coach Brian de la Porte. "We went hard for the last 20 minutes."

De la Porte challenged his players after a lackluster performance in the opening half. The Bulldogs trailed by just one point despite being held scoreless for the first nine minutes of play, shooting 30 percent from the field and committing eight turnovers.

Down 18-17, Ceres started the second half on a 14-3 run and increased its lead to 10, 42-32, on Andrew Chipponeri's 3-pointer.

"We finally started putting pressure on them," de la Porte said. "We were letting them dribble down and do whatever they wanted in the first half."

Bulldog center Steven Downs played an integral role even though he didn't score. He patrolled the paint on defense and found open teammates on offense.

"It's a big difference having him on the floor," de la Porte said. "He can create a lot of easy things for the other guys. He's a great passer."

Ceres took the lead for good at 25-24 on a basket by Dupree with 15:37 to play.

"We worked hard to get back into the game," Dupree said.

"We were tired from the three games yesterday."

Added de la Porte: "This was our fifth game in two days."

Ceres won its first game on Thursday at Modesto JC. The Bulldogs posted a 49-47 victory over Riverbank.

Dupree had nine points. Downs and Bryant Hill both scored eight points. Sayad and Chipponeri added six and five points, respectively.

The Bulldogs outscored the Bruins 25-22 in the second half.

Riverbank maintained a 25-24 lead at the break.

Ceres won two of three games at Delta College in Stockton on Wednesday. The Bulldogs beat Manteca and Tracy by 20 points. They lost 57-54 to the Los Banos Tigers. -- By DALE BUTLER Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier