Ceres High School's freshman boys basketball team faced little resistance in building a 17-point lead during the opening half of its Western Athletic Conference crosstown showdown with Central Valley.
The Hawks cut the deficit to eight four times in the fourth quarter before falling 48-38 to the host Bulldogs on Friday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
"Central Valley has some talent," Ceres High head coach Tracy Bull said. "I never felt like we were in danger of losing. We did what we were supposed to do. When we needed to score, we scored. We picked their press apart."
The Bulldogs improved to 13-3 overall and 4-1 in the WAC standings.
The Hawks dropped to 2-4 in league play.
Inder Sandhu scored a game-high 17 points for Ceres High.
Cristian Garcia and Gurraj Purewal totaled 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Adrian Magdaleno and Cristian Palafox contributed two points each.
Donnavin Koeurn had one point.
The Bulldogs shot 56 percent (9 of 16) from the free-throw line.
"Inder's been our most consistent player the whole season," Bull said. "Being left-handed really helps. He's pretty aggressive going to the basket. They had no answers for him (Cristian Garcia). Nobody really does."
Hanson Hy scored a team-high 11 points for Central Valley.
Phillip Jackson, Karnveer Chahal, David Serrano and Miguel Jimenez totaled nine, five, four and three points, respectively.
Antonio Ramirez and Andres Romo contributed two points each.
The Hawks shot 58 percent (11 of 19) from the foul line.
"He (Serrano) worried us because of his size," Bull said. "He's a big kid. He wasn't much of a factor because he got into foul trouble. We never gave him (Chahal) an open shot. We ran away from him on defense. He wasn't much of a factor, either."
Ceres High led 29-12 at intermission. Sandhu and Garcia tallied 15 and eight points, respectively. The Bulldogs limited the Hawks to two points in the first quarter.
Central Valley outscored Ceres High 26-19 in the second half, including 14-6 in the third quarter.
"We didn't play very well in the third quarter," Bull said. "We didn't run our offense right. We got a little lazy."
Down by 17 at half, Central Valley gained a measure of confidence with its second-half performance.
"It's not about bragging rights," Bull said. "We just want to be better than the team we're playing against. I hope there's no animosity. We're from the same town."
Ceres High will play host to El Capitan today and Livingston on Friday.
Ceres High lost 49-45 to second-place El Capitan (5-1) earlier this season.
"It's a big game," Bull said. "The only thing that worries me is they beat us before. If we win the rest of our games, we'll be league champs. I think we will."
Central Valley will host Patterson today and play at El Capitan on Friday.