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Central Valley High School's varsity girls basketball program experienced more lows than highs before annexing its first-ever league championship last season.

The Hawks kept their hopes for a second consecutive Western Athletic Conference title alive with a 52-41 win over previously-unbeaten Patterson on Tuesday, Jan. 31 in Ceres.

The Tigers won the first meeting, 51-45, on Jan. 5.

"We were really motivated," Central Valley guard Vivien Fermil said. "We were really confident. We really want to be league champions again. I thought it would be a little more competitive."

The Tigers (6-2) suffered their second loss on Thursday at Livingston and dropped into a tie for second place in league with the Hawks (6-2). Los Banos (7-2) had a half-game lead over Central Valley and Patterson as of Monday, Feb. 6.

"We were focused on the task at hand," Hawks head coach Jesse Padilla said. "We should have beat them the first game."

Central Valley used a balanced scoring attack to beat the Tigers during the rematch.

Fermil drained four treys and totaled a game-high 15 points.

Post players Brittany Martinez and Valerie Olide contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Guards Diana Carmona and Mia Lorenzo each tallied eight points.

"She (Fermil) got hot last week and kept it up today," Padilla said.

Patterson sharpshooter Shealyn Craven had just two points through the first three quarters and totaled 10 points. Stephanie Cantu and Dani Hansen tallied nine and six points, respectively.

Craven and Hansen combined for 26 points against Central Valley earlier this season.

Fermil and Craven were travel ball teammates in the past.

"I've known her since she was little," Fermil said. " I told my teammates what she does. She likes to pump fake, step back and shoot. We kept our hands up."

Added Padilla: "We were right in her face."

Patterson trailed 34-31 at the end of the third quarter.

The Hawks outscored the Tigers 18-10 in final period. Martinez, Carmona, Fermil and Olide collected six, five, four and three points, respectively. Brittany accounted for Central Valley's last two baskets.

The Hawks had a 48-38 lead with 1:08 to play.

"We worked really well as a team," Fermil said. "We were positive before the game. We weren't thinking negative."

The final score would have been worse had Central Valley converted its free throws at a higher clip. The Hawks shot just 55 percent (12 of 22) from the charity stripe.

"It's a big win," Martinez said. "We were hungry. They beat us last time. We played great tonight. I'm proud of my team."

The Hawks moved up two spots to No. 14 in the second installment of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II power ratings following last week's revenge win. The top 16 team at the conclusion of the regular season qualify for the playoffs.

Central Valley will travel to Central Catholic tomorrow. The WAC contest will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Raiders upset the Hawks 51-46 on Jan. 17 in Ceres. Central Catholic lost twice to Ceres High, a team Central Valley beat 42-22 on Jan. 24.

"We can't underestimate any of the other teams because they have nothing to lose," Martinez said.