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Ceres High earns its second win
Hughes leads Dawgs past Tigers
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Ceres High School's freshman boys basketball team had plenty of motivation heading into last week's road game at Los Banos.

The Bulldogs lost 51-40 to the Tigers in Ceres on Jan. 8.

Ceres High avenged the setback with a 43-42 win over host Los Banos on Wednesday.

"It's a great win for us," Bulldogs head coach Tracy Bull said. "They beat us by 11 points at home. They embarrassed us."

Ceres High improved to 9-9 overall and 2-7 in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs have been hurt by fourth-quarter struggles this season.

"We've had the lead late in every conference game, except one," Bull said. "We just can't finish. Every game, it's been something different. We got a good group of kids. I don't think anybody has lost focus. We still think we have the best team in the WAC. We just don't have the record to prove it."

Bulldog center Elijah Hughes scored a career-best 19 points off the bench against the Tigers last week.

Hughes shot 50 percent (8 of 16) from the field.

"They didn't have a lot of size," Bull said. "That's why we were pounding the ball inside. Elijah's very intimidating."

Hughes was sidelined for five games with a hip injury earlier this season.

"We thought he was done for the year," Bull said. "He's starting to get his rhythm back. He's a very talented young man. This is his first year playing organized basketball. He got cut both years in junior high. He just developed slower."

Bulldog teammates Gary Condit, Brock Moore, Caleb Cannella, Ethan Willform and Gavin Andres tallied nine, six, four, three and two points, respectively, against the Tigers.

Ceres High nearly squandered a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Los Banos missed a wide-open 3-pointer and put-back attempt in the final 10 seconds.

The Bulldogs outlasted the Tigers.

"There was more relief than excitement," Bull said.