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Oakdale spoils Ceres High's Senior Night
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With playoffs out of reach, head coach Brian de la Porte and the Ceres High varsity boys basketball team targeted another goal.

The Bulldogs needed a win against Oakdale on Friday to keep their hopes of a .500 record in the Valley Oak League standings alive.

Unable to match the Mustangs' scrappy, physical play for 32 minutes, Ceres High suffered a difficult-to-digest 50-44 loss on senior and breast cancer awareness night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs (12-14 overall, 6-9 VOL) also had their two-game winning streak snapped.

"It's very disappointing," said Justin Canatsy, one of five upperclassmen honored in a pre-game ceremony. "We tried our hardest. It seemed like every ball went to them."

Canatsy had a team-high 16 points, including just three in the second half. John Dhillon scored 10 points. Katero Lebeau and Tyler Cummings both tallied five points. Mark Schwark collected three points. Vineel Kumar and Chris Hilgen contributed two points apiece. Lance Hunter added one point.

Nathan Madsen scored a game-high 18 points for Oakdale (10-15, 6-8), which beat Ceres High for the second time this season. Vince Thompson and Blake Thompson added 10 and nine points, respectively.

Ceres High faced a 43-36 deficit at the end of the third quarter.

Dhillon made a pair of free throws to close the gap to 48-44 with 1:18 left in regulation.

The Bulldogs missed their final three shots, including a layup and two 3-pointers. Ceres High had a costly turnover as well.

"At times, we settled down and played good defense," de la Porte said. "We just didn't rebound. They did a good job of getting second-chance points. They competed well."

Ceres High will play its final contest of the VOL season this Friday at Central Valley. The Bulldogs handled the Hawks, 52-39, earlier this year.

"If we win that game, it's going to cancel this one," Canatsy said. "I just want to beat them. I'm ready to play now."

Added de la Porte: "It should be a fun game. I'm looking forward to it."