Ceres High’s varsity boys basketball team enjoyed a positive ending to the 2019-20 campaign.
The Bulldogs throttled the visiting Los Banos Tigers, 73-50, on Senior Night last Thursday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
“They finished the season off strong,” head coach T.J. Walker Jr. said. “They haven’t played with that amount of intensity for 32 minutes all season.”
Ceres High amassed a 11-17 overall record and tied for fifth place with Johansen in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
“The guys were on the same page on and off the court,” Walker said. “The liked each other. That’s the first step. Hopefully, that continues and helps us get to that next level.”
Senior team captains Malakhi Shimon, Josh Pernetti and Daquan Smith were recognized prior to tip-off.
Smith and Pernetti were three-year varsity players.
Shimon suited up for the Bulldogs for two seasons.
“When you lose players that have been in the program and understand the system, it’s always tough,” Walker said. “All of them played major minutes for us. They got better.”
Shimon scored a team-high 18 points during his final game with Ceres High.
Pernetti and Smith both contributed eight points.
Andrew Kommavong and Verlis Smith each had 13 points.
Indy Dhillon added 10 points.
The Bulldogs managed to beat the Tigers despite competing shorthanded.
Samar Singh, Ceres High’s top scorer and rebounder, did not play against Los Banos.
“He had to attend a wedding in India,” Walker said.
The Bulldogs missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
“The expectation is to win and put ourselves in a position to make playoffs,” Walker said while talking about next season’s goals. “It’s going to come down to what the players do during the off-season.”