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Exhibition benefits Sober Grad
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Ceres High students battled administrators, faculty members and staff on Friday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium to raise money for Sober Grad Night.

The Powerful Pups defeated the Dusty Dogs 77-68 in front of more than 650 fans. The event brought in close to $3,000.

"We're hoping we can make this an annual event," said Ceres High principal/Dusty Dogs player Bob Palous.

The Powerful Pups were led by seniors Thomas Vanderlaan and Brett Sayad. Vanderlaan had a team-high 10 points. Sayad tallied nine points. Aaron Salazar, Patrick Cannon, Mark Courson, Michael Staggs, Homar Sanchez, Jess Gilmore, Zack Atchison, Mike Hundal, Sam Coulter, Devin Eudy and Abbie Martin also contributed.

"I distributed the ball," Brett said. "I made sure everybody scored. That was my main goal."

The Dusty Dogs were led by math teacher/athletic director Glenn Driskell, who poured in 10 of his team-high 14 points in the first half.

Julio Marquez, Angela Durossette and Bret Durossette chipped in five, four and three points, respectively.

Down 66-65, the Young Pups secured the victory with a 9-2 run late in the fourth quarter.

Salazar had five points, including the game's final basket. Aaron banked in a 3-pointer from straightaway.

"It was a great experience," said Salazar, a standout on Ceres High's boys tennis team. "I'm glad I did it. I got to see what Brett (Sayad) feels like. It's an adrenaline rush."

Aaron enjoyed competing against economics teacher Bill Curlis.

"We were talking a lot during the week," Salazar said. "It was all in good fun."

Palous, Curlis and their teammates used wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes during pre-game introductions for the 60-minute contest.

Former Ceres High athletic director Phil de la Porte, current boys golf and football coach Scott Smith and Cerean Bret Silveira officiated.

"Everybody had fun tonight," Palous said. "That's just important as the money."

"It was all for a good cause," Sayad said. "They were out here playing for us."

Angela Durossette and Kim Chapman organized the event.

"It was a hugely successful night," said Chapman, chair for Sober Grad. "It was just awesome."

Ceres High will continue to fundraise for its seniors as tickets for Friday night's Modesto Nuts-San Jose Giants minor-league baseball game can be purchased at the school or by contacting Chapman at