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Patriots edge CV Hawks
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Sixty-seven seconds. That's the amount of time it took the Central Valley High JV boys basketball team to squander a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter against Beyer on Dec. 20 in Ceres. Down 63-56, the Patriots outscored the Hawks 12-4 in the final 2:18 and held on for a 68-67 victory.

Central Valley missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer. Center Sean McLeod stole a pass near midcourt with 2.8 seconds remaining and threw the ball towards the basket. Guard Yama Noorzai grabbed the miss near the left baseline and misfired on a 10-footer. The ball hit the backboard and glanced off the rim.

“We lost the game because we weren't mentally sound,” Hawks coach Darryl Dickson said.

Added Noorzai: “I'm pretty mad. We should have won.”

Noorzai had 20 points, including six 3-pointers, for Central Valley, which fell to 9-2 overall. Trevor Mew, McLeod, Gerald Garcia, Tony Marques and Isaac Plaster added 17, 13, eight, six and two points, respectively.

The Hawks accounted for 14 of the game's first 16 points en route to building a 23-11 lead in the opening quarter. Mew had 12 points, including four layups, one trey and a free throw. Garcia and McLeod scored eight and two points, respectively.

Beyer stormed back in the second quarter, outscoring Central Valley 21-12. A 13-3 run in the final 3:34 helped turn a 10-point deficit into a 35-32 disadvantage. The Patriots buried four 3-pointers. McLeod, Noorzai and Mew led the Hawks with seven, three and two points, respectively.

“Our intensity went down in the second quarter,” Noorzai said. “Coach told us not to take it easy.”

Said Dickson: “We were a couple baskets away from blowing this game open.”

The Hawks extended their lead to five, 52-47, in the third quarter. Central Valley and Beyer combined for 32 points. Noorzai had 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Marques and McLeod scored four and two points, respectively.

The Hawks scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, six less than the Patriots.

Noorzai had six points, including two 3-pointers. Mew had three points before fouling out. McLeod, Marques and Plaster all scored two points.

Noorzai nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Central Valley ahead 63-56 with 2:33 left.

Beyer responded with four consecutive baskets to take a 64-63 lead at the 1:26 mark.

“We were out of control,” Noorzai said. “We needed to slow it down, run our offense and melt the clock.”

McLeod's free throw evened the score at 64-all with 1:15 remaining.

Beyer increased its lead to 68-64 with a 4-0 run.

Noorzai's baseline 3-pointer brought the Hawks within one with less than 3 seconds remaining.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Noorzai said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier