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JV Bulldogs survive
Ceres High's junior-varsity boys basketball team collected its first win of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at Phil de la Porte Gymansium, beating visiting Livingston 57-47 in non-conference play.

"I'm pretty excited," Bulldogs coach Brian de la Porte said. "This group has the potential to be successful. We still got a lot of work to do."

Ceres improved to 1-1 on the year.

Livingston dropped to 0-1.

Post player Brandon Jolley poured in a game-high 22 points for the Bulldogs.

"He's nowhere close to where he can be inside," de la Porte said.

Ceres point guard Josh Edwards tallied eight points. Vineel Kumar and Mark Schwark each had seven points. Kevin Gill, Tyler Cummings and Edgar Lopez scored six, four and two points, respectively. Nick Sandoval added one point.

Rajan Dola led the Wolves with 11 points. Brian Alvarez and Christopher Modi had 10 points apiece.

The Bulldogs managed to build a 27-23 lead in the first half despite struggling on both sides of the court.

"I was pretty upset at halftime," de la Porte said. "It could have been 40-10 but we missed too many layups and free throws. We had a lot of turnovers. We didn't play good man-to-man defense at all. We allowed too much penetration. Another big thing was offensive rebounds. We gave up a lot of second and third chances. We should have played better."

Ceres High took control in the second half thanks in large part to its smothering defense.

"We forced the tempo and they weren't really ready for our press," de la Porte said. "We were pretty fresh because I subbed a lot in the first half. It doesn't mean we're in shape."

The Bulldogs outhustled and outmuscled the Wolves in the final 16 minutes.

Jolley was a force inside as he scored 16 points, including eight in each quarter.

"He creates a lot of mismatches," de la Porte said.

Ceres used a 10-0 run to turn a 27-23 lead into a 37-23 advantage with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter. Jolley had six points on three layups.

Livingston pulled within seven at the 2:42 mark. The Bulldogs scored four of the period's final six points to increase their lead to 41-32. Jolley converted a layup and Schwark put back an offensive rebound.

An 8-2 surge helped the Wolves cut the deficit to 51-47 with 2:17 to play. Dola put back two offensive rebounds. Alvarez hit a 3-pointer and made one of two free throws.

Ceres outscored Livingston 6-0 in the final 1:56. Edwards made a layup, Jolley knocked down a close-range hook shot, and Sandoval and Kumar converted one foul shot each.

"Give Livingston credit," de la Porte said. "They answered right back. We just didn't put them away. If we don't improve, we're going to be in trouble."