The coach who led the Bulldogs to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in two of the past three seasons returned for the first time with Patterson High's varsity boys basketball team on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and beat his former squad 49-40.
Jordan Levu (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Rodriguez (12 points, five rebounds) combined for 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers secure a win in the waning minutes of the contest.
De la Porte was coaching another basketball team for the first time inside Ceres High's gymnasium, which is named in honor of Phil de la Porte, Brian's father, where he led the Bulldogs for five seasons and to a 61-72 overall record.
Ceres was hospitable to its former coach before and after, but as for the 32 minutes in between, the visitors had other things in mind. Patterson (8-7 overall, 2-0 WAC) used its speed advantage to pull away from the Bulldogs for a second straight conference victory.
The Tigers opened without three starters, who sat out at game's start for missing team practice, according to de la Porte. The Bulldogs took advantage of the opportunity as they claimed a 6-2 lead midway through the first period.
Cariaun Williams (eight points, three assists) connected on a 3-pointer, and Damarrio Hammonds (five points) scored a layup to help Patterson trim the deficit to one. But Puneet Sahi's 3-ball gave Ceres a 11-7 lead after one quarter.
The Tigers opened the second quarter on a 12-2 run, capped when Rodriguez scored five straight points to give Patterson a 19-13 advantage.
However, the Bulldogs tallied the next nine points of the period, before Levu's corner 3 tied the game at 22-22 going into the break.
Five different Patterson players scored points in the third period, and the Tigers outscored Ceres 11-6 in the frame to take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Patterson controlled the final eight minutes, and led by as many as 10 twice in the period, paced by Levu and Rodriguez, who dropped in six and five fourth-quarter points, respectively.
Michael Smith gave the Tigers six points, five rebounds and five assists, and Kevin Phelps added four points and five boards.
Patterson will continue the conference season at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, against Central Catholic High of Modesto.
The JV Tigers won 59-26 at Ceres High on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Patterson got 18 points and six rebounds from Spirit Ricks, while Avery Dehoyos added nine points and four rebounds. Michael Moore (seven rebounds) and Adam Hansen each contributed six points for the Tigers (2-0 WAC).
Ceres High sunk two free throws with 2.5 seconds left in the game to give the host Bulldogs a 43-42 win over the freshman Tigers on Wednesday night.
The game momentarily turned for Patterson when Angel Rojas hit a 3-point shot to give the visitors a 42-41 edge with 38 ticks left. But with seconds remaining Ceres hit a pair of shots from the charity stripe to steal the victory.
Ivan Ornelas (14 rebounds, two assists) and Rojas (four rebounds, three assists) each scored 13 points to pace the Tigers .
Tevita Kelepi added 11 points and four rebounds, while Tre McGill finished with three points and seven boards for Patterson (1-1 WAC).
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.