Standout guard Mikayla Mabie expressed disappointment following the Central Valley High School varsity girls basketball team's 44-43 win over crosstown-rival Ceres High on Jan. 21.
"It's a win on the schedule but in our hearts it's a loss," Mikayla said.
Mabie and the first-place Hawks took their frustration out on a pair of Western Athletic Conference opponents last week.
Central Valley improved to 15-7 on the year and 8-0 in the Western Athletic Conference after beating El Capitan twice and Patterson once.
The Hawks have a one-game lead over second-place Livingston (15-7, 7-1) in the WAC standings.
Central Valley outscored host El Capitan 21-6 in the third quarter during Thursday night's 46-34 victory.
The Hawks overcame a slow start as they led by just two points, 20-18, at halftime.
Central Valley beat tradition-rich Patterson for the second time this season.
The Hawks prevailed, 54-42, against the defending WAC-champion Tigers on Jan. 26 in Ceres.
Adriana Haynes had 16 points, eight rebounds and one steal.
Teresa Diaz had 10 points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal.
Alyssa Costa had nine points, eight rebounds and two steals.
Central Valley took charge early by outscoring Patterson 19-5 in the first quarter.
Central Valley won the first meeting, 55-54, on Jan. 5. The Hawks overcame a 12-point deficit and snapped the Tigers' 38-game conference winning streak.
Host Central Valley outscored El Capitan 16-7 in the second quarter and never looked back on its way to securing a 43-29 victory on Jan. 25.
Contreras had 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Mabie had eight points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
The Hawks' final four WAC opponents are Pacheco (Thursday), Ceres High (Feb. 8), Los Banos (Feb. 9) and Livingston (Feb. 16).
Central Valley edged Livingston by one point, 60-59, on Jan. 19.
Central Valley High School's junior-varsity girls basketball team added three more victories to its win total this past week.
The Hawks coasted to a 52-29 win against host El Capitan on Thursday in Merced.
Elizabeth Robinson had a game-high 21 points for Central Valley, which improved to 15-4 overall and remained undefeated in WAC play (8-0).
Central Valley dominated Patterson, 43-29, on Jan. 26 in Ceres.
Robinson scored a game-high 13 points.
Chetna Kumar added 10 points.
Dhillon poured in 15 points during Central Valley's 53-19 pasting of visiting El Capitan on Jan. 25.
Robinson had 14 points.
Central Valley High School's freshman girls basketball team continued its chase at perfection last week.
The Hawks improved to 20-0 overall and 8-0 in the Western Athletic Conference standings after securing three wins.
Central Valley beat El Capitan twice and Patterson once.
"We have a target on us right now just because where we stand in league," Hawks head coach Julie Gant said.
Central Valley routed El Capitan 45-4 on Thursday in Merced.
Yesenia Zuniga collected a game-high 11 points.
The Hawks led 29-4 at intermission.
Central Valley defeated visiting Patterson 42-23 on Jan. 26.
Naciah Smith totaled a game-high 14 points.
Zuniga chipped in with 11 points.
Central Valley won its first meeting versus El Capitan, 47-16, on Jan. 25 in Ceres.
Abigail Martinez scored a game-high 13 points for the Hawks.
Daniela Yepez netted 10 points.
"I got a good group of girls," Gant said. "The more pressure they face, the more they rise up to be competitive."
Central Valley will play host to crosstown-rival Ceres High next Monday at 4:30 p.m. The Hawks posted a 52-20 win over the second-place Bulldogs on Jan. 21.
"We'll be ready," Gant said. "It will be a great game. Some of the girls are friends. That makes it fun."