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Hawks fade in 2nd half
In the end, it was a nightmarish third quarter that proved costly for Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team.

The Hawks mustered just four points in the opening eight minutes of the second half of their 65-56 loss to visiting Sonora.

"We came out not as aggressive as we were in the first half," Central Valley senior sharpshooter Yama Noorzai said. "They took advantage of that. It's disappointing. We got to finish games. The same thing happened against Weston Ranch."

Noorzai netted six treys on his way to tallying a game-high 25 points for the Hawks, who dropped to 1-3 in the Valley Oak League standings.

"The past couple games I've been on," Yama said. "Coach gives me the green light to shoot from wherever I want."

Added Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson: "He's playing awesome."

Hawks senior center Sean McLeod added 14 points. Junior Robert Morgan, junior Trevor Mew and sophomore Brian Blunt totaled seven, five and four points, respectively. Junior Rick Rogers chipped in one point.

Junior center Brenden Evans paced the Wildcats (2-2) with 22 points and nine rebounds. Senior Kolt Canaday buried three 3-pointers on his way to scoring 11 points. Senior Taylor Thrift and junior Matt Relei totaled eight and seven points, respectively. Sophomore Vincent Navarro drained a 3 at the halftime buzzer to increase Sonora's lead to 34-30.

Central Valley managed to keep the game close in the first half thanks in large part to Noorzai's clutch shooting. McLeod's presence inside freed up Yama, who finished with 16 points (four 3s). Sean had eight points.

"They're starting to step up and play real well," Dickson said.

Sonora tightened its defense and capitalized on Central Valley's mistakes in the second half.

The Wildcats extended their lead to 13 with a 9-0 surge in the opening 2 minutes, 13 seconds of the third quarter. Evans had six points. He hit a floater in the middle of the key while getting fouled and completed the three-point play. Brenden made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc as well. Canaday also hit a trey from straightaway.

"We didn't execute the plays coach called," said Noorzai, who managed to score nine points, including two treys, while being closely guarded. "We never gave the ball to Sean. That's our fault."

Added Dickson: "We got outhustled. They outexecuted us. All 15 of us didn't do what we were supposed to do, including the coaches."

The Hawks got within nine points twice in the fourth quarter.

Central Valley entered the week hoping to make a statement. The Hawks almost knocked off first-place Weston Ranch on Wednesday. A fourth-quarter collapse kept that from happening. Noorzai led all scorers with 24 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 60-53 loss.

"We can beat those teams if we execute and follow the game plan," Dickson said.