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Impressive comeback
Facing a 14-point halftime deficit on its homecourt, Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team appeared headed for a blowout loss to crosstown rival Ceres High.

The Hawks regrouped and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in program history Friday night, rallying for a dramatic 52-45 victory over the Bulldogs.

"I'm not surprised," said Keymonte Wooten, Central Valley's standout 5-foot-3, 125-pound freshman point guard. "I knew we had it in us. I have faith in my teammates. We listened to the coaches and executed the plays."

Wooten scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the Hawks (3-3 VOL).

Chris Beleele, Central Valley's 6-foot-5, 225-pound center, tallied a season-high 14 points.

"It's the best game of his career," Hawks head coach Darryl Dickson said. "He just lifted us. We needed that."

Hawk mates Trevor Mew, Greg Mathews, Robert Morgan and Brian Blunt were also key contributors.

Mew had seven points.

Mathews, a sophomore post player, totaled six points.

Morgan and Blunt added five points each.

Marcus Hilgen poured in a game-high 18 points for Ceres High (1-5 VOL). Justin Canatsy, Martino Bertolotti, Lance Hunter and Scott Meyer chipped in with 13, seven, four and two points, respectively. Tony Bradford added one point.

The Hawks executed on both ends of the court in storming back from a 28-14 deficit.

Central Valley outscored Ceres High 38-17 in the second half, including 13-2 in the fourth quarter.

"We just couldn't stop them," Hilgen said.

Six different players scored for the Hawks in the third quarter, including Wooten (five points), Mew (five), Blunt (five), Mathews (four), Beleele (four) and Morgan (two).

Keymonte buried one 3-pointer on his way to totaling seven points in the final eight minutes. Mew, Mathews and Beleele all scored two points.

"The guys settled down and did a much better job in the second half," Dickson said.

"We knew we could take it," Beleele stated. "We wanted it more than them. This is our gym."

"We didn't want our fans to leave disappointed," Wooten added.

Chris and Keymonte celebrated with their teammates after the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Beleele bumped chests with Ross Henry. Then watched as Morgan and Cesar Zavala lifted Wooten off his feet.

Approximately 600 fans witnessed the remarkable rally.

"I wish it was like this every game," Chris said. "The crowd is motivation."