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Central Valley JV girls race past Bulldogs
Central Valley's and Ceres High's junior-varsity girls basketball teams struggled to a 2-2 tie in the first period of their Western Athletic Conference crosstown match-up this past week.

The Hawks dominated the middle periods and cruised to a 26-17 victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"We all fed off each other's energy and played as a team," Central Valley point guard Alley Martinez said.

The Hawks improved to 3-3 in the WAC standings.

The Bulldogs dropped to 1-5 in conference play.

Central Valley's Monica Alvarez and Bianca Zuniga both scored a team-high eight points. Jazareth Valencia added six points. Martinez and Veronica Duarte each had two points.

Ceres High's Larissa Vasquez tallied a team-high six points. Tessa Corsaut, Sara Graham, Edith Peralta, Fulu Tevaseu and Yvonne Verduzco finished with two points apiece. Breanna DeLeon had one point.

The Bulldogs shot 16 percent (3 of 19) from the charity stripe. Ceres High made just 4 of 20 free throws in a 34-14 loss to Livingston Jan. 19.

Central Valley outscored Ceres High 22-8 in the middle periods. Alvarez and Zuniga led the way with eight points apiece. Valencia and Martinez contributed four and two points, respectively.

"We weren't playing our best in the beginning," Valencia said. "After our coach talked to us, it gave us momentum. That (support from the crowd) had a lot to do with us playing better. We just tried our hardest."

"I think we did pretty well," Peralta said. "They just made more shots than us. We were competitive. We played hard defense."

Central Valley's Tamara Uti took an inadvertent elbow to the face late in the fourth quarter.

Moments later, Valencia was assessed a technical foul after tangling with Peralta.

"The ball went over her head and I tried to get it," Edith said.

"It got a little physical," Jazareth said. "I expected that."

The Hawks and Bulldogs combined for just four points in the opening period.

"We were nervous and excited," Peralta said. "There's more tension between us because we're rivals."