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Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team battled for 32 minutes in front of a sellout crowd Friday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

The Hawks emerged with a 53-50 victory over the Bulldogs as the highly-entertaining Valley Oak League season finale showdown featured multiple lead changes.

In their last meeting, Central Valley stormed back from a 14-point deficit to defeat Ceres High.

"It means an awful lot to us to come in here and beat them," Hawks head coach Darryl Dickson said. "It's a good way to finish the season. We sent the seniors out with a victory."

"We wanted this game more than anything," said Central Valley senior Robert Morgan, who tallied a team-high 11 points. "We wanted to go out on top. It makes up for the seven-game losing streak."

Freshman Keymonte Wooten added 10 points for the Hawks, who finished one-game ahead of the last-place Bulldogs, East Union Lancers and Oakdale Mustangs in the VOL standings at 4-10. Brian Blunt had nine points. Trevor Mew and Chris Beleele both scored eight points. Jonathan Sneed and Greg Mathews contributed four and three points, respectively.

Marcus Hilgen poured in a game-high 15 points for Ceres High (3-11 VOL), which shot a horrific 35 percent (8 of 23) from the free-throw line. Justin Canatsy, Lance Hunter, Scott Meyer and Tony Bradford tallied 11, 10, six and three points, respectively. Rajdeep Singh and Mark Schwark collected two points apiece. Martino Bertolotti added one point

"Give them credit," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said. "They represented the red and white and played their butts off."

Central Valley outscored Ceres High 35-28 over the second and third periods. The Hawks had a host of contributors, including Wooten (eight points), Morgan (eight), Mew (seven), Blunt (six), Beleele (three), Sneed (two) and Mathews (one).

Ahead by just three points late in the fourth quarter, Keymonte made a pair of game-sealing free throws.

Canatsy drained a meaningless 3-pointer from straight away as time expired.

"I was real nervous," Wooten said. "I'm not going to lie. But I knew I could do it. We had to get this win for the seniors on the team."

The majority of the 800-plus fans that attended the rivalry game stood during the final minutes.

"It just energizes you," Morgan said. "You want to do good."

Added de la Porte: "It makes it fun for everybody."