The members of Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team headed straight for the locker room following Friday night's 74-66 homecoming win over visiting Pacheco.
The head coaches for both squads decided it wouldn't be a good idea to exchange handshakes after the game.
"We did it to keep the players safe," Hawks leader Darryl Dickson. "There was too much talking during the game. The emotions were way too high."
"It might have turned into a brawl," Central Valley standout guard Jaron Dickson stated.
The Hawks improved to 14-3 on the year and remained in first place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (4-0).
The Panthers dropped to 7-9 and 1-3.
"We're not worried about playoffs or winning the WAC right now," coach Dickson said. "It's a long season still. But we're happy where we're at. It's good we control our own destiny."
Jaron Dickson scored a game-high 24 points.
Daevon Brown totaled 17 points.
Devon Bolivar had 10 points.
Parker Griffin, Manuel Garcia, Larenz Johnson, Nimrat Chahal and Alexis Villa added six, five, four, three and two points, respectively.
Central Valley buried six 3-pointers, including three by Brown and one by Dickson, Garcia and Chahal.
Juwan Epperson, a standout quarterback on Pacheco's varsity football team this past fall, scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the second half.
Octavio Jimenez tallied 15 of his 19 points in the second period.
Libby Velasquez finished with 11 points.
Central Valley led by as much as 22 points before Pacheco got within 10 in the final period.
"I subbed down a little too much," coach Dickson said. "You got to give them credit. They didn't give up."
Epperson buried three treys and tallied 15 of his team's 21 fourth-quarter points.
Juwan even converted a four-point play. He buried an NBA-range 3-pointer from the right wing while being fouled. Epperson sat on the court for a few seconds and flexed before draining the free throw.
Dickson (16) and Brown (14) combined to score 30 points as the Hawks grabbed a 48-26 lead in the first half.
"We got complacent in the second half," said Jaron Dickson, who was assessed a technical foul for jawing just before the conclusion of the game. "We got to focus on keeping the pace up for all four quarters."
"Our goals are set high," coach Dickson said. "Every team gives you their best shot when you're in first place. We proved we're a first-place team."
The Hawks won their seventh consecutive game.
Central Valley has a near-perfect 6-1 record on its home court.
"I love it when all of our fans come out to support us," Jaron Dickson said. "It's a great feeling."
First-place Central Valley will host Livingston (2-1) today and play at Ceres High (3-1) on Friday. Both games will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
"We want to go undefeated in league," Jaron Dickson said. "It would mean a lot, especially for us seniors. There's a little bit of pressure. We're the team to beat. Every team is going to give us their best shot."