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Central Valley crushes Lathrop in opener
Central Valley High School fielded its first-ever varsity boys basketball team in 2006-07.

Lathrop finds itself in the same position this season.

The two programs faced off in a Valley Oak League opener on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Ceres.

The Hawks secured a 58-26 victory over the Spartans.

"Not a bad way to start league," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "We did what we were supposed to do."

David Griffin had a team-high 11 points for the Hawks (2-10, 0-2). Jamal Wessinger and Ryan Sandner scored nine points apiece. Gray Ney and Brian Blunt tallied eight and six points, respectively. Salinder Singh and Cristian Gil both collected five points.

Using man-to-man, full-court pressure defense, Central Valley put the game out of reach in the opening 16 minutes of play.

"We executed really well in the first half," said Dickson, whose team led 43-11 at intermission. "We put pressure on them. We were able to get some steals. Everything worked."

Dickson used his starters sparingly in the second half.

"The goal was to get everyone as much playing time as possible," he said. "It was like practice. I'm happy with the win. We needed it."

The lop-sided victory snapped a three-game losing streak. Central Valley dropped nine of 10 games during the preseason.

Wins will be hard to come by for the Hawks in conference play.

"Our goal is to be competitive," Dickson said.

The Hawks travel to Manteca today and host Sonora on Friday.