Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team boosted its playoff hopes this past week.
The visiting Bulldogs avoided a major upset by beating Los Banos 42-39 on Wednesday.
"Everybody in our league is pretty competitive," Ceres High head coach Julio Marquez said. "Plus, it's more difficult playing on the road."
The third-place Bulldogs improved to 6-3 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Tigers dropped to 2-7 in the WAC standings.
"If we win two of our final three games, we're in the playoffs for sure," Marquez said.
Puneet Sahi paced Ceres High this past week with 16 points.
Ramon Coral, Nick Burt, Joshneil Sandhu, Ismael Ontiveros and Haaydn Martinez added eight, seven, five, three and two points, respectively.
Austin Stiles had one point.
Brevin Welch scored a game-high 21 points for Los Banos.
Ceres High and Los Banos finished with 13 points each in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 12-4 in the second period. Ceres High shot 63 percent (5 of 8) from the field. Coral and Sahi tallied four and three points, respectively. Burt and Sandhu both contributed two points. Ontiveros had one point.
"We shot the ball really well," Marquez said. "We picked it up on defense."
Ceres High will play at second-place Patterson (7-3) today and first-place Central Valley (9-0) on Friday. Both games will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
"It's a tough schedule," Marquez said. "We'll be a full-strength."