Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team played host to first-year El Capitan last week.
The Gauchos put up a fight early before fading in a 71-54 Western Athletic Conference season-opening loss to the host Hawks Friday night in Ceres.
"We have an opportunity to win the WAC this year," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "Teams are going to play us hard. We can't afford to have a night when we're not prepared. We can't take anybody lightly. We have to play at a high level every game."
The Hawks improved to 12-3 overall and 1-0 in the WAC standings.
Central Valley had four players reach double figures in scoring: Daevon Brown (19), Parker Griffin (14), Jaron Dickson (12) and Alexis Villa (10).
Devon Bolivar totaled nine points.
Edward Calderon finished with three points.
Moses Ghiorso and Inayat Sahota tallied two points apiece.
The Hawks' lead ballooned to as much as 30 points in the third quarter.
Central Valley outscored El Capitan 37-23 in the opening half.
"We could have done better in the start," coach Dickson said. "It seemed like we weren't as fast as we normally are. It took us about a quarter to get going. They were trying to dribble, penetrate and kick it to their shooters. We made some adjustments and shut them down. I'm happy with the overall effort. We were hustling. It's definitely a great start. We're a good team. We do at times lack consistency."
Central Valley will play at Patterson today at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers and Hawks placed first and second, respectively, in the WAC last season.
Brian de la Porte, Patterson's leader, previously coached at Ceres High.
"They scouted us," Darryl Dickson said. "We scouted them. They're well-coached. It's going to be a tough matchup. We'll see how it goes."