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A night to remember
Hundreds of Central Valley High School varsity boys basketball fans stormed their home court Friday night after the Hawks rallied for a 62-60 victory over crosstown-rival Ceres High.

The postgame celebration lasted several minutes.

"We were very motivated," Central Valley forward Jordan Thornton said. "We knew we could win. Our whole team stepped up."

The Hawks improved to 13-13 on the year and 6-5 in the Western Athletic Conference (fourth place).

The Bulldogs (14-12, 7-5) placed third in league play.

Thornton scored a game-high 21 points against Ceres High this past week.

Jaron Dickson buried all eight of his free throws and tallied 15 points.

Ryan Donnelly and Juan Manriquez contributed 10 and six points, respectively.

Kendel Johnson and Ja'Quan Gardner both added four points.

Jordan Sek had two points.

Harman Chung collected a team-high 20 points for the Bulldogs.

Caden Johnson, Abel Reyes, Jimbo Pernetti and Angel Garcia chipped in with 16, 13, six and five points, respectively.

Central Valley shot 65 percent (15 of 23) from the free-throw line.

Ceres High shot 67 percent (14 of 21) from the charity stripe.

Sparked by its pressure defense, the Hawks battled back from an 11-point deficit in the second half.

Central Valley pulled within six, 58-52, with 1:45 left in regulation.

The Hawks went on a 10-2 run to end the game. Central Valley forced six turnovers, including four by Thornton.

Jordan Thornton's layup off a steal put Central Valley ahead, 58-57, with 33 seconds remaining.

Seven seconds later, Dickson increased the Hawks' lead to 60-57 with two free throws.

Kendel Johnson hit two of four foul shots down the stretch.

Down 62-59, Chung drew a foul while trying to score inside in the waning seconds. He made the first free throw and purposely missed the second.

The ball fell into Garcia's hands. The buzzer sounded before he could get a potential game-tying shot off.

"I could see in their (my players') eyes they wanted to win," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "Our guys played with a lot of heart and passion. They showed character."

"They had nothing to lose," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said. "They went for steals and got them. We got to learn from it, move on and get ready for the playoffs. They didn't end our season."

Ceres High won its previous seven meetings versus Central Valley.

The Bulldogs edged the Hawks 61-60 in overtime on Jan 23.

Ceres High will find out where it's seeded for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs today.

Central Valley failed to qualify for the postseason.

"We're really young," Jaron said. "We only have three seniors. Next year, we'll be really good."

"If we can't make playoffs," I want Ceres to go," Darryl said.