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CV girls fourth at Pitman
Central Valleys Rosie Duarte battles for possession versus Sonora during the third-place game of the Pitman Pride Holiday Classic on Friday in Turlock. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Gracious in defeat, the members of Central Valley's varsity girls basketball program clapped in unison as Sonora was presented the third-place trophy at the Pitman Pride Holiday Classic last week in Turlock.

The Hawks had to settle for fourth place after losing 61-51 to the Wildcats on Friday.

"It's disappointing," Central Valley senior forward Delores Uti said. "We need to work more on our defense, putting pressure on the ball. On offense, we need to pass more."

The Hawks converted just 11 of 23 free throws and committed more than 20 turnovers in losing to the Wildcats.

"Sonora has a good team," said Uti, who totaled 12 points.

Blanca Espinoza, Alexis Contreras and Sue Dhillon collected 19, 12 and eight points, respectively.

Central Valley trailed 30-22 at halftime.

Sonora increased its lead to 19, 53-34, in the third quarter.

The Hawks outscored the Wildcats 17-8 during the final period.

Central Valley lost 63-35 to Lodi during Thursday's semifinal matchup.

Dhillon had a team-high nine points for the Hawks.

Espinoza and Contreras both tallied eight points.

Rosie Duarte and Mahogany Simon chipped in with four points apiece.

Uti added two points.

The Hawks faced a 37-19 deficit at the end of the second quarter.

Central Valley topped Hughson 43-33 in the opening round on Wednesday.

Contreras paced the Hawks with a game-high 18 points.

Espinoza, Uti and Duarte contributed 11, six and four points, respectively.

Simon and Chetna Kumar both had two points.

The Hawks limited the Huskies to two points in the second quarter.

Central Valley compiled a 1-2 record at the eight-team tournament. "I'm happy with how we did," Uti said. "We worked hard. But we need to improve more as a team."

Uti, a newcomer to varsity basketball, took the 2015-16 campaign off to cheer.

"I'm trying to prove myself since I didn't play last year," she said. "It's a faster pace. We're playing harder teams."