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CV girls closing in on WAC title, playoff berth
Eva Noorzai excited Central Valley High School varsity girls basketball fans when she blocked a shot attempt out of bounds early in the fourth quarter against visiting Central Catholic.

"I didn't hear them," she said. "I was zoned in."

Noorzai's all-round play lifted the Hawks to a 69-29 victory over the Raiders on Senior Night last Thursday in Ceres.

She filled the stat sheet with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and three blocks.

"Her best asset is going to the basket," Central Valley head coach Jesse Padilla said. "She did a great job tonight."

Hawk teammates Myra Naranjo, Alyssa Long, Brittany Martinez, Melinda Camarrillo, Penny Chanthavong, Geena Wade, Diana Carmona and Vivien Fermil also contributed.

Naranjo knocked down four treys en route to 20 points. She also accumulated six rebounds, two steals and one assist.

Long had 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Martinez scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots.

Camarrillo collected five points, four rebounds and one assist.

Chanthavong tallied four points, three rebounds and one steal.

Wade finished with two points, four rebounds and one steal.

Carmona totaled two points, one assist and one steal.

Fermil added two points and one steal.

Central Valley shot a respectable 73 percent (11 of 15) from the free-throw line.

"We played together," Noorzai said.

The Hawks avoided a major letdown by winning the important Western Athletic Conference game in dominant fashion.

First-place Central Valley (7-1) remained a half-game ahead of second-place Los Banos (7-2) in the conference standings. Central Catholic dropped to 1-8.

"It feels pretty amazing," Noorzai said. "We're making history. We keep working hard at practice. We never underestimate any team."

Central Valley outscored Central Catholic 19-7 during the first quarter, including 15-4 in the closing five minutes. Seniors Noorzai, Naranjo and Long accounted for all but two of their team's points. Eva, Myra and Alyssa tallied eight, six and five points, respectively. Martinez added two points.

"We came out ready," said Eva, who netted all 10 of her points in the opening half. "It's our last home game so we wanted to crush them."

Central Valley and Central Catholic players, coaches and fans shared a moment of silence before the start of last week's game to honor Mae Hensley Jr. High eighth-grader Danielle Tarancon. She was struck and killed by a car while walking to school Wednesday morning.

If the Hawks take care of business during the final week of the WAC season, they'll have reason to celebrate. Central Valley would accomplish two firsts by winning a league title and qualifying for the playoffs.

"The girls know what's at stake," Padilla said. "It's there for the taking."

The Hawks wrap up the regular season at Ceres High School this Thursday (7:30 p.m).