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Eagles edge out Hawks in opener
Central Valley High School's varsity girls basketball squad found itself in a favorable position late in the fourth quarter against Enochs.

Hawk post player Amanda Lopez stepped to the free-throw line with her team clinging to a one-point lead. Both of her foul shots rimmed out, giving the Eagles one last chance.

Enochs' Shanika Blunt caught a pass inside and scored with 7 seconds to play, lifting the 2008-09 Modesto Metro Conference co-champions to a 43-42 season-opening, non-conference win over upset-minded Central Valley.

The Eagles beat the Hawks soundly, 47-20, last season and 42-37 in 2007.

"I'm not disappointed at all actually," Central Valley standout forward Alyssa Long said. "They didn't expect it to be close because of previous years."

Long, a third-year varsity player, tallied 19 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two assists and two steals.

Eva Noorzai, Phylicia Martinez and Myra Naranjo contributed seven, six and five points, respectively.

Diana Carmona and Gigi Sahota both scored two points.

Amanda Lopez added one point.

Clairesse Dehart and Taylor McCain led the Eagles in scoring with 11 points apiece.

Brittany Arnold, Shanika Blunt, Brya Sablan and Janeya Satkamp had nine, six, four and two points respectively.

Carmona's inbounds pass to Long on Central Valley's potential, game-winning possession sailed out of bounds with 2.5 seconds left on the clock.

In the end, eight missed free throws and 30 turnovers prevented the Hawks from pulling off one of the biggest victories in program history.

"It definitely should have been a win for us," Alyssa said. "We got tired and lazy."

Bulldogs prevail

Ceres High's varsity girls basketball team struggled during its scrimmage against Hughson.

"We didn't perform as well as we hoped we would," head coach Shawna Nunes said. "It was ugly."

The Bulldogs rebounded by opening the non-conference portion of their schedule with a hard-earned 33-32 victory over Pitman on Tuesday, Nov. 24 in Turlock.

Ceres High managed to win despite playing without two key starters: 6-foot-2-inch junior center Jamie Beck (ankle injury) and 5-7 junior guard Stephanie Yankovich (unspecified reason).

"We knew if Jode Johnson did really well, we'd be competitive," Nunes said.

Johnson, a 5-10 senior forward/guard, scored a career-high 26 points for the Bulldogs.

Bryce Ford (freshman guard) and Haley Duarte (Beck's replacement) added five and two points, respectively.

"Every kid that we put in, we were pleased with some of the things they did," Nunes said. "We played incredible defense."

Ceres High limited Pitman to a combined 12 points in the second and third quarters.

Tied at 22-all, the Bulldogs outscored the Pride 11-10 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

"Our defense and Jode won that game for us," Nunes said.

CV boys suffer close loss to visiting Enochs

Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team did just about everything wrong during its 71-42 loss to Grace Davis in a six-quarter scrimmage on Nov. 24 in Ceres.

The Hawk tipped off the non-conference portion of their 2009-10 schedule last Tuesday, falling 57-51 to visiting Enochs.

"We actually played really well," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "Our defensive effort kept us in the game. We had an opportunity to win. We just got to do a lot better job putting the ball in the basket."

Brian Blunt tallied a team-high 15 points for the Hawks. David Griffin, Tyree Jones, Greg Mathews and Ryan Sandner added 10, eight, seven and six points, respectively. Kyle Mountain and Hector Jacobo contributed on defense.

Brian rebounded from a seven-point, turnover-filled effort against Grace Davis.

"His offensive production was good," Dickson said. "His defense was excellent. I think our talk helped a little bit."

Ty Galloway scored a game-high 17 points for the Eagles. Scott Robertson and Abel Watts chipped in with 10 points apiece. Don Fairchilds added eight points.

Central Valley shot just 58 percent (15-for-26) from the foul line and committed 17 turnovers during the course of the game.

The Hawks will begin Valley Oak League play with a road contest at Lathrop on Jan. 5.

Grace Davis, Enochs and Johansen are expected to battle for the Modesto Metro Conference title this year. The Eagles won the league title in 2008-09, finishing one game ahead of the Spartans and Vikings.