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Dawgs place second, qualify for water polo playoffs
Ethan Letras and Ceres Highs varsity boys water polo team closed out the 2017 Western Athletic Conference season with a 12-5 victory against visiting Livingston on Oct. 25. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys water polo team punched its ticket to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a 14-7 win over host Los Banos in Western Athletic Conference action on Oct. 23.

"We're pretty excited," head coach Bill Campbell said. "That was our season goal. I'm proud of them."

The second-place Bulldogs (6-3) won all three of their matches versus the second-place Tigers (3-6) this year.

Ceres High had six different players score at least two goals against Los Banos during last week's meeting.

Jacob Black and Elliott Lewis led the Bulldogs with three goals each.

Ethan Letras, Sebastian Alvarado, David Johnson and Caleb Cannella all contributed two goals.

Cannella totaled 16 saves at goalkeeper.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 10-4 during the second half.

"It was close in the beginning," said Campbell, whose team held a slim 4-3 lead at the break. "We broke it open. We tired them out."

Ceres High closed out the WAC season with a 12-5 victory against winless Livingston on Senior Day last Wednesday.

"We're peaking at the right time," Campbell said.

Upperclassmen Letras, Alvarado, Johnson, Black, Joseph Rodriguez and Daniel McElwain were recognized before competing at home for the final time.

Letras, Alvarado, Black, Rodriguez and McElwain all started during the first half, along with junior Cannella.

"It's going to be tough to see some of these kids go," Campbell said. "These boys are like my kids. I'll be more emotional at our award ceremony."

Johnson led the Bulldogs in scoring with five goals.

Letras added three goals.

Alvarado and Lewis chipped in with two goals apiece.

Cannella made 11 saves.

Ceres High will face Buhach Colony in the opening round of the Division-II playoffs today in Atwater.

"Our defense has been outstanding," Campbell said. "We've got a lot of steals. Caleb's got a lot of blocks. Hopefully, we keep the momentum going."