Jaron Dickson, a standout junior guard on Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team, removed his jersey moments after the final buzzer sounded.
Dickson's last-gasp potential game-winning shot failed to draw iron, allowing visiting Central Catholic to escape with a 63-62 win over the Hawks Wednesday evening.
"It always hurts to miss those types of shots," Dickson said. "I got a clean look. For whatever reason, the ball came off my hand wrong. You can't make them all."
The Hawks dropped to 13-5 on the season and 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Raiders improved to 13-5 and 4-0 in the WAC.
Dickson buried seven treys en route to tallying a team-high 21 points for Central Valley, which shot 75 percent (6 of 8) from the free-throw line.
Daevon Brown and Ryan Donnelly totaled 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Kendel Johnson had six points.
Parker Griffin and Diego Sanchez both contributed two points.
Peter Hamilton tallied a team-high 16 points for Central Catholic, which shot 64 percent (14 of 22) from the charity stripe.
Jonathan Boddie, Ethan Eads, Jourdan Johnson and Donovin Townsend contributed 15, 11, nine and seven points, respectively.
"We played a great game," Dickson said. "They played a great game. There's nothing to complain about."
Central Valley and Central Catholic battled in front of a large crowd for 32 minutes.
The decibel level increased as both teams traded baskets down the stretch.
Jourdan Johnson evened the score at 59-all with a layup and foul shot at the 1:28 mark.
Dickson's seventh 3-pointer gave the Hawks a 62-61 lead with 25 seconds to play.
Townsend, who played a key role in leading Central Catholic's varsity football team to State, NorCal, Section and WAC titles, made two clutch free throws with 13 seconds remaining in the game.
Down 63-62, Dickson caught an inbounds pass near the right wing with 5 seconds to play. Hounded by two defenders, Jaron created space before unleashing a contested shot.
"I'd give anything to take that shot again," he said.
Central Valley doubled Central Catholic's scoring output (20-10) in the first quarter thanks to the play of Brown, Johnson, Donnelly and Griffin. Daevon, Kendel, Ryan and Parker had eight, six, four and two points, respectively.
The Hawks allowed 24 points in the second quarter and trailed 34-29 at the break.
"They picked up their game," Dickson said. "We gave up too many easy buckets."
Dickson had 18 points, including six treys, in the second half.
Jaron, Ryan and Daevon scored nine, seven and five points, respectively, as the Hawks grabbed a 50-47 lead in the third quarter. Central Valley totaled 21 points to Central Catholic's 13.
Central Valley compiled an 0-2 record against Central Catholic in WAC play this season. "If we play like we did tonight, we're not going to lose to any other team," Dickson said. "We're the second-best team in the league. This is the best team in Central Valley history. We're capable of doing great things."