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Bradford, CHS shock Central Valley in closing seconds
Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity boys basketball teams will face off three times this year.

The first meeting between the crosstown rivals went to the Bulldogs on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium, as they won 51-50 during the second round of the 29th Ceres Holiday Tournament.

Senior forward Tony Bradford played the role of hero for Ceres High (5-7).

Trailing 50-48, the Bulldogs went to junior guard Justin Canatsy, whose 3-point shot from the left wing fell short. Bradford grabbed the offensive rebound and drew a foul while scoring the tying basket with 1.2 seconds left in regulation. Following a Hawk timeout, Tony stepped to the free-throw line and successfully completed the three-point play to win the game.

"I was scared," said Bradford, who totaled eight points against Central Valley. "There was a lot of pressure. I was focusing on a good release on my shot. It felt good as soon as I released it. It was perfect."

Tony had a huge smile on his face while heading to the locker room following the thrilling finish. He enjoyed watching his teammates, classmates and fans celebrate.

"I was relieved," Bradford said.

Central Valley's Robert Morgan (five points) congratulated Bradford before the two exited the gymnasium.

"I thought we had it won," Morgan said. "It's devastating to lose to your friends like that. We used to hang out freshmen and sophomore year. He's good at blocking things out."

Bulldog guard Martino Bertolotti's defensive effort against Central Valley leader Trevor Mew was superb.

He limited Mew to 10 points, including none in the opening eight minutes and one in the third quarter. Trevor tallied 27 points the previous night in a 74-38 rout of Yosemite of Oakhurst.

Bertolotti also matched Mew's scoring output. He scored six of his 10 points in the final four minutes.

Ceres High junior forward Lance Hunter had 16 points. Canatsy poured in 13 of his 15 points in the first half. Mark Schwark's lone basket, a tip-in, brought the Bulldogs within two points at 48-46 with 1:22 remaining.

Keymonte Wooten had a standout game for the Hawks (8-7). The 5-foot-3, 125-pound freshman point guard scored 12 of his career-high 16 points after intermission.