Upset 67-66 by Pacheco in overtime on Jan. 18, Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team immediately turned its focus to crosstown-rival Central Valley.
The Bulldogs blasted the Hawks, 62-39, in a battle for first place in the Western Athletic Conference on the road Friday night.
"We were pretty motivated, especially after losing to Pacheco," said Cristian Garcia, Ceres High's 6-foot-6 junior center. "We had to respond in an explosive manner. I knew we'd come out even stronger. Honestly, we didn't feel much pressure. We were confident we'd win. We had a short-term memory."
The Bulldogs (12-9, 4-1) remained in a tie for first place in the WAC standings with Patterson.
The Hawks (7-12, 3-2) dropped to second place in conference play.
"Every win matters," Garcia said. "But beating Central Valley is special. Everybody in town is watching. The crowd is really rowdy. There's a lot of energy. It's fun."
Garcia tallied a game-high 17 points and 14 rebounds against Central Valley.
Haaydn Martinez, Ismael Ontiveros and Inder Sandhu collected 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Nick Jones and Gurraj Purewal added six and four points.
Ceres High shot 80 percent (20 of 25) from the free-throw line.
Harinder Sidhu totaled a team-high 11 points for the Hawks.
Gurshan Chahal and Max Sanchez contributed seven and six points, respectively.
Ralph Afortunado and James Benites chipped in with four points apiece.
Daniel Villasenor had three points.
Karnveer Chahal and Oso Fregoso both added two points.
Central Valley shot 25 percent (5 of 20) from the foul line.
"They have shooters," Garcia said. "They can catch fire at any time. Luckily, that didn't happen."
Ceres High held a 35-20 scoring advantage while dominating Central Valley during the middle periods.
"We came out with intensity," Garcia said. "We controlled the tempo. We executed."
The Bulldogs improved their head-to-head record against the Hawks to 11-11.
More importantly, Ceres High remained in the hunt for the WAC title.
"We're just trying to reach our goal, which is to win a league championship," Garcia said. "We know it's going to take a lot of work. We have to continue to play as a team and execute on both offense and defense."