After posting a 61-72 overall record with the Bulldogs program, de la Porte, a native of Ceres, made his decision May 15 to take the reins of his former school's Western Athletic Conference rival.
He saw old friends and former players for the first time Saturday, Dec. 14, bringing his new team, the Patterson High Tigers, to face his old squad, in the consolation championship game of the Turlock Pepsi-Frank Godinez Tournament at Turlock High School.
Patterson suffered a narrow 55-54 loss to Ceres in the consolation finale of the annual Turlock High tournament, giving the Bulldogs an early 1-0 edge in the season series.
Both WAC adversaries will play each other twice more during the regular season, beginning with a Jan. 8 meeting inside Ceres High's gymnasium, which is named in honor of Phil de la Porte, Brian's father and a longtime coach and athletic director.
Against the Bulldogs, Michael Smith led the short-handed Tigers with 13 points. Teammate Damarrio Hammonds had nine points, Kevin Phelps had eight, and Gurkirt Heerey and Justin Rodriguez each scored seven.
The Tigers (4-4) reached the consolation title tilt by posting a 78-68 victory over Pitman High of Turlock on Friday, Dec. 13.
Smith had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Patterson, while Phelps had 15 points. Rodriguez added nine points and Heerey had seven for the Tigers.
Even with four double-digit scorers, the Tigers still could not overcome Laguna Creek High as they dropped a 65-61 decision against the Elk Grove-based program on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Cariaun Williams led Patterson with a team-high 14 points while three other Tigers recorded double-figures. Smith dropped in 13 points while, Phelps and Jordan Levu added 11 and 10, respectively.
Patterson will travel for the Bear Creek High Tournament, opening their portion of the event with an 6:30 p.m. game against Soledad High on Thursday, Dec. 26.
Patterson 68, Orestimba 35
Williams scored 16 points and Levu added 14 points on Dec. 10, as Patterson beat the Orestimba High Warriors of Newman.
Phelps finished with eight points, and Rodriguez had seven points, two rebounds and two assists for the Tigers.
Robert Ekwueme, Heerey, Daniel Kelepi (three rebounds) and Spirit Ricks (nine rebounds) each netted four points for Patterson.
Patterson's JV boys basketball team claimed a lopsided 55-18 decision against the visiting Orestimba Warriors on Dec. 10.
Nana Appiah led the Tigers in scoring as he put up 14 points, adding nine rebounds. Teammate Adam Hansen put up 10, while grabbing four boards.
David Hassan (three 3-pointers) notched nine points for the Tigers, while teammate Ernesto Huizar tallied seven to go with three rebounds and three assists.
Michael Moore (eight rebounds) tossed in six points, and Hugo Gonzalez (five points) had a team-high 11 rebounds for Patterson (3-2).
Angel Rojas' 3-pointer with 22 seconds left gave the freshman Tigers a 32-31 victory over Orestimba on Dec. 10.
Rojas (four 3-pointers) led all scorers with 12 points as Patterson (2-0) pulled out a win in its home opener.
Ivan Ornelas helped the Tigers with nine points, adding 10 rebounds, and Tevita Kelepi scored four points and grabbed eight boards.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.