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The drought is over.

Ceres High School's varsity boys basketball team won its first league title in 17 years last week. The Bulldogs also qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07.

Ceres High captured the Western Athletic Conference championship outright with Friday's 75-51 throttling of crosstown-rival Central Valley.

The Bulldogs celebrated the historic win on the Hawks' home court.

Ceres High players and coaches wore T-shirts that read, "WAC League Champs," as proud Bulldog fans snapped pictures.

Parent Jeff Borden provided the commemorative attire, which was stored in a cardboard box next to Ceres High's bench until the final seconds ticked off the clock.

"This is special," Bulldogs senior point guard John Dhillon said. "This hasn't been done in 17 years. It's for the community. Our fans have been supporting us all season. They're like our sixth man."

Dhillon, who in all likelihood will be voted league MVP, finished with a game-high 26 points. He made five 3-pointers.

"I believe he's the heart and soul of the team," de la Porte said. "He's a winner. I love that kid."

Edgar Lopez added 22 points for Ceres High, which improved to 17-8 on the year and finished in first place in the WAC standings (8-2). Binder Atwal had seven points. George Borden and Chris Hilgen both contributed six points. Hadon Lopez chipped in with four points. Jimbo Pernetti and Jose Nava each scored two points.

Miguel Rodriguez tallied a team-high 10 points for the Hawks, who posted an 11-16 overall record and tied for last place in conference play with Patterson (2-8).

Camron Thornton, Jamal Wessinger, Abraham Navarro and Sunny Moun had nine, eight, six and five points, respectively. David Griffin, Central Valley's top player, scored four points before exiting the game with a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter. Ryan Sandner added three points. Nate Villegas, Cristian Gil and Hector Jacobo collected two points apiece.

The Bulldogs got off to a terrific start and never looked back in blowing out the Hawks.

Ceres High outscored Central Valley 18-5 in the first quarter and led 35-11 at intermission.

Lopez and Dhillon combined for 22 points in the opening half.

"They love basketball," de la Porte said. "They love to compete."

Ceres High assured itself at least a share of the WAC title by beating host Livingston 57-45 earlier in the week. The Bulldogs didn't let a two-game losing streak disrupt their pursuit of history.

Atwal and Hadon Lopez poured cups of water onto coach de la Porte's head during the postgame celebration at Central Valley.

Brian was the ballboy for the Bulldogs' last league championship team.

"I'm just proud of these kids and the way they've represented Ceres High," he said. "The way they responded was awesome. I'm really happy."

The 11th-seeded Bulldogs will face No. 6 Foothill of Sacramento (16-8) in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs on the road tonight at 7.