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First-place Hawks improve to 6-2 in WAC play
Central Valley High School's varsity girls basketball team didn't play its best but still managed to escape with a victory.

The Hawks prevailed 40-36 at Patterson on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Central Valley extended its winning streak to six games.

"It wasn't easy," head coach Jesse Padilla said.

The first-place Hawks (6-1) increased their lead to two games over the third-place Tigers (4-3) in the Western Athletic Conference standings. Second-place Los Banos, which lost 45-43 to Central Valley earlier this season, had a 6-2 mark as of Monday.

Central Valley has been riding a wave of momentum since opening WAC play with a 30-29 loss at Livingston. The Hawks are vying for their first league title and playoff berth in program history. CV started competing at the varsity level in 2006-07.

"The girls are excited but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," Padilla said.

Myra Naranjo made three treys and totaled nine points for the Hawks. She had two rebounds and two steals.

Central Valley also received contributions from Alyssa Long (seven points, six rebounds, six steals and four assists), Eva Noorzai (six points, four rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist), Vivien Fermil (six points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds), Brittany Martinez (five points and six rebounds) and Geena Wade (four points, three rebounds and one steal).

Wade, Lizette Covarrubias, Penny Chanthavong and Melinda Camarillo were substitutes.

"Our bench helped out," Padilla said. "It's nice to have a balanced team."

Central Valley kept pace with Patterson during the first three quarters despite playing shorthanded.

Long and Martinez, two key starters, were saddled with foul trouble.

When Alyssa and Brittany returned to the lineup in the fourth quarter, the complexion of the game changed.

Down by one point, Central Valley outscored Patterson 11-5 in the final eight minutes. The Hawks were patient on offense and active on defense.

For the second time in a month, Central Valley beat Patterson.

The Hawks routed the Tigers 46-28 on Jan. 6 in Ceres.

Central Valley enjoyed the bus ride home from Patterson last week.

"We celebrated a little bit," Padilla said. "The girls realize what's going on. I'm trying to keep them grounded."

The Hawks are experiencing success for the first time during their five-year history.

Central Valley will play host to Central Catholic on Senior Night tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

Naranjo, Long, Noorzai, Wade and Covarrubias will all be recognized.