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Sayad leads Dawgs
With all-tournament selection Brett Sayad leading the way, Ceres High's varsity boys basketball program finished in fourth place at the 19th Annual Tracy Winter Holiday Classic. The 16-team event was held at West High School, Dec. 19-22. Valley Oak League rival Weston Ranch won the tourney title for the second straight year.

"I thought we could have played better," said Sayad, the lone returning starter from last year's 21-7 squad that qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. "We're coming along. We're still not quite where we want to be."

The Bulldogs posted a 2-2 record and improved to 8-5 on the season.

Ceres High fell 61-46 to West in the third-place game on Dec. 22.

Sayad had 15 points for the Bulldogs, who trailed 30-19 at intermission. Marcus Hlgen, Tony Bradford, Martino Bertolotti, Lance Hunter and Justin Canatsy scored 12, seven, five, four and two points, respectively. Thomas Vanderlaan added one point.

Terrance Jones paced the Wolves with 21 points. Brett Steele and Kris Beck chipped in 13 and nine points, respectively.

Sayad, Hilgen and Vanderlaan combined for 51 points but it was all for naught as Ceres High lost 71-63 to runner-up Edison in the semifinals on Dec. 21.

Sayad and Hilgen both tallied 18 points.

Vanderlaan netted 15 points.

Canatsy, Bertolotti and Bradford finished with six, four and two points, respectively.

The Vikings had five players score in double figures in Trumaine Johnson (14), Lamontay Hall (13), Brandon Pascual (12), Kwa'wayne Defils (12) and Willie Williams (10).

Both teams battled back from deficits.

Ceres High trailed 33-27 at halftime.

Edision trailed 49-45 at the end of the third quarter.

The Vikings outscored the Bulldogs 27-14 in the fourth quarter to secure a berth in the championship game.

Ceres High buried 15 of 17 free throws during its 55-50 victory over Tracy in the second round on Dec. 20.

Sayad poured in 32 points, including 20 in the second half. He made four treys. Brett also finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.

Vanderlaan, Bertolotti and Hilgen contributed nine, eight and four points, respectively. Martino drained all six of his foul shots.

Nate Brown and Auston Jones had 13 points apiece for Tracy, which trailed 33-32 at the end of the third quarter.

Ahead by just one point, Ceres High outscored Tracy 22-18 in the fourth quarter to notch its second victory in as many days.

Ceres High edged Beyer 49-43 in the first round on Dec. 19.

The Bulldogs beat the Patriots on the strength of their free-throw shooting (10 of 12) and dominance in the third quarter (19-6).

Sayad tallied 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. He made all seven of his free throws as well.

Hilgen (six points), Vanderlaan (five), Hunter (four), Bertolotti (four), Bradford (two), Canatsy (two) and Rajdeep Singh (two) also contributed.

Bryan Garbez led Beyer in scoring with 19 points. Dom Rossi, Blake Barber, Scotty Schendel and Josh Shackelford had nine, seven, six and two points, respectively.