Reduced to playing the role of spoiler, Ceres High’s varsity boys basketball team prevented Grace Davis from pleasing its Homecoming crowd last week.
The Bulldogs turned a competitive game into a blowout as they pulled away for a 59-36 victory over the Spartans Friday evening in Modesto.
“When we found out Grace Davis scheduled us for Homecoming, we used that as motivation,” senior Malakhi Shimon said. “Their energy level was really high. They had the crowd on their side. Once we started hitting shots, we built our confidence and closed it out. We played our game.”
Ceres High improved to 10-16 overall and 4-8 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs moved into a two-way tie for fifth place in the WAC standings with Johansen.
Last-place Grace Davis dropped to 5-21 and 0-12.
“We have a great team. We thought we were going to be able to make it to playoffs. It hurts falling short. We’ve been playing better the second half of the season. We’ve built a good trust and bond as a team.”Malakhi Shimon
“We have a great team,” Shimon said. “We thought we were going to be able to make it to playoffs. It hurts falling short. We’ve been playing better the second half of the season. We’ve built a good trust and bond as a team.”
Shimon scored 12 points versus the Spartans.
Samar Singh tallied all of his team-high 13 points after intermission.
Andrew Kommavong added 11 points.
Daquan Smith, Indy Dhillon, Verlis Smith, Adrian Ontiveros and Josh Pernetti contributed seven, six, four, three and two, points, respectively.
Shimon brought Ceres High coaches, teammates and fans to their feet when he banked in a half-court shot with time running out in the first quarter.
“I didn’t know it was going in,” Shimon said. “When I shot it, I thought the ball was going to go over the backboard. It gave us momentum.”
Ceres High defeated Grace Davis 63-30 on Jan. 31 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
The rematch was competitive before the Bulldogs exploded for 40 points during the second half.
“Being down by 2 at halftime, we knew we had to step it up,” Shimon said. “We played harder. We put the gas pedal down and didn’t give them any hope. It felt really good being able to spoil their Homecoming.”
Ceres High will close out the regular season this week with games against Mountain House and Los Banos.
“We want to play to the best of our ability these last two games,” Shimon said. “We want to finish the season off strong.”