Ignited by a 12-2 run in the second period, Ceres High School's freshman girls basketball team kept its unbeaten record intact with a 37-18 road win over crosstown-rival Central Valley on Thursday.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," Bulldogs standout player Alexis Contreras said. "We had to step it up."
Ceres High improved to 13-0 on the year and 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Hawks dropped to 13-4 and 3-2.
Alexis Contreras tallied a game-high 15 points for the Bulldogs.
Ceres High teammates Breanna Moreno, Aliyah Smith, Leena Bassi, Dominique Koeurn and Julia Pata collected seven, six, four, three and two points, respectively.
Blanca Espinoza totaled a team-hi
gh five points for Central Valley.
Delores Uti and Victoria Castillo both contributed four points.
Adria Robinson and Dream Miranda chipped in with three and two points, respectively.
"We didn't want them to win," Contreras said. "We had to work for it. We were prepared for what was going to happen."
Tied at 8-8 midway through the second quarter, Ceres High elevated its level of play en route to building a 20-10 lead. Contreras, Moreno and Smith had eight, four and two points, respectively.
The Hawks used a 10-0 run to put the contest out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Central Valley outscored Ceres High 13-3 during the final eight minutes.
Espinoza accounted for all of the Hawks' points. She scored inside and converted one of two foul shots late in the game.
Koeurn thrilled her Bulldog teammates when she buried a 3-pointer from straightaway with 14 seconds to play.
"We started off kind of rough," Contreras said. "We had to pull it together. Communication was the key. We just had to play our game."