Kendel Johnson's dunk off a steal electrified Central Valley High School's student-cheering section early in the first quarter during Friday's varsity boys basketball game against crosstown-rival Ceres High.
"It created energy and momentum," Hawks head coach Darryl Dickson said.
Host Central Valley stormed out to a 13-point lead in the opening half and dashed the Bulldogs' comeback attempt with a 27-9 run in the final period.
Central Valley prevailed, 75-52, in front of a large crowd.
"It was an awesome atmosphere," Dickson said. "Many people in the community came out to support Central Valley and Ceres High. Both teams played hard."
The Hawks improved to 15-5 on the year and 3-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Bulldogs dropped to 10-10 and 2-4.
Central Valley posted a 2-0 record versus Ceres High this season.
"We were fortunate enough to get them twice this year," Dickson said. "That's not our ultimate goal. We want to bring a section title back to Central Valley at some point in time."
Hawk Ryan Donnelly torched the Bulldogs for 29 points.
Daevon Brown added 17 points.
Johnson, Jaron Dickson, Parker Griffin and Diego Sanchez scored 11, nine, six and two points, respectively.
Ja'Quan Gardner had one point.
Ceres High's Joshneil Sandhu scored a team-high 14 points.
Harman Chung collected 13 points.
Austin Stiles and Nick Burt both tallied eight points.
Dylan Canatsy totaled five points.
Junior Garcia and Abel Reyes contributed two points each.
The Hawks shot 58 percent (14 of 24) from the free-throw line.
The Bulldogs converted 11 of 22 foul shots.
Ceres High faced a 38-25 deficit at the break.
The Bulldogs used an 18-10 run in the third quarter to get back into the game.
"We get up on teams, then let down," coach Dickson said. "That's been our Achilles heel all year. I give Ceres a lot of credit. They took it to us in the third quarter and we didn't respond. We relaxed a little bit. We lost focus. I had to challenge our guys."
Ahead by five, Central Valley outscored Ceres High 27-9 during the final eight minutes. "I called a timeout and jumped on them," Darryl Dickson said. "We talked about our goals. We stopped Ceres' momentum in the fourth quarter. We wore them down."
Central Valley will face Livingston during homecoming this Friday.
Ceres High's homecoming game versus Livingston will be staged on the same day.
Both contests will begin at 7:30 p.m.