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Foul trouble, poor free-throw shooting hurt Central Valley
Brittany Martinez, a 6-foot-2 standout center on Central Valley High School's varsity girls basketball team, picked up her third personal foul with 5:38 remaining in the second quarter.

As she watched from the bench, host Central Catholic used a 14-4 run to turn a three-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

The Hawks never recovered and lost 54-37 to the Raiders on Thursday in Modesto.

Central Valley couldn't overcome foul trouble and poor free-throw shooting.

"My team depends on me a lot," Martinez said. "I feel like I let everybody down. It hurts a little."

Added Central Valley head coach Jesse Padilla: "Once Brittany left, nobody stepped up and scored. Someone else needed to take control. It was like pulling teeth."

Central Valley dropped to 3-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Central Catholic improved to 3-2 in league play.

Martinez accumulated 13 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and three blocks in a limited amount of playing time.

Hawk teammate Mia Lorenzo added 14 points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

Central Valley's Catrina Castillo, Tamara Uti and Ali Martinez had five, three and two points, respectively.

Central Catholic's Margaret Gallo scored a game-high 25 points.

Brigid Crowley and Annalicia Luis totaled 12 and six points, respectively.

The Hawks shot just 31 percent (5 of 16) from the free-throw line.

Central Valley trailed 21-14 at halftime.

Fueled by the play of Lorenzo and Brittany Martinez, the Hawks pulled within three points (32-29) in the third quarter. Mia had seven points. Brittany collected six straight points.

Mia picked up her fifth foul at the 5:29 mark of the fourth quarter and was relegated to the bench for the rest of the game.

Facing a 35-30 deficit, Brittany Martinez scored back-to-back baskets to pull Central Valley within three points (37-34) with 4:05 to play.

Central Catholic outscored Central Valley 17-3 the rest of the way.

"We know how the game went," Brittany Martinez said. "We kept it close. We needed to communicate better."

Central Valley played host to Ceres High on Tuesday. The final score was unavailable before the Courier went to press.

The Hawks will face off against host Los Banos on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.