Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity girls basketball teams battled for 32 minutes this past week.
The Bulldogs nearly upset their crosstown rivals.
Ceres High's Nicole Bates and Jessica Arreola both missed potential, game-winning shots in the waning seconds as Central Valley escaped with a 44-43 win Thursday evening at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.
"I knew they were going to bring it," Central Valley senior Mikayla Mabie said. "We were prepared for that."
Central Valley (12-7, 5-0) remained atop the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Ceres High (10-8, 3-2) dropped to third place.
"Each team is so competitive in our league," Mabie said. "We need to keep pushing like we're at the bottom."
Mabie tallied a game-high 12 points.
Adria Robinson, Adriana Haynes, Teresa Diaz, Simi Sahota, Alyssa Costa and Alexis Contreras scored 10, eight, five, four, three and two points, respectively.
Leena Bassi totaled a team-high 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Jasmine Moore and Mahlena O'Neal both scored eight points.
Nicole Bates collected five points.
Kaylee Holloway and Breanna Moreno contributed four points each.
Jessica Arreola and Natalia Cortez finished with two points apiece.
Ceres High outscored Central Valley 12-8 in the final period to make the contest interesting.
Moreno's layup gave Ceres High its first-and-only lead at 39-38 with 4:10 left in regulation.
Central Valley responded with back-to-back baskets.
Haynes made a short jumper from the right baseline.
Diaz's 3-pointer from the left baseline put the Hawks ahead by four points, 43-39, with 3:12 to play.
Bassi cut the deficit to 44-43 with an offensive rebound putback and two free throws.
"That's exactly how I was expecting it to go," Moore said. "It was very competitive. It definitely sucks to lose. But I thought we played really strong tonight. The whole team did. We all contributed."
The Hawks led 25-20 at halftime.
Central Valley trailed 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The Hawks evened their all-time record versus the Bulldogs to 10-10 last week.
Central Valley has won five of its last six meetings against Ceres High.
"Next time we play them, we'll come out stronger," Moore said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the rematch."
Central Valley will play at El Capitan on Thursday.
Ceres High will host Livingston tomorrow.
Both WAC games will begin at 7:30 p.m.