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Varsity Hawks falter at homecoming
It's common practice to schedule equivalent or weaker opponents for homecoming games.

Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team had the difficult task of playing against reigning Valley Oak League champion Manteca.

The Hawks put up a gutsy fight for most of the first half on Friday before losing 66-46 to the Buffaloes.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Central Valley standout post player David Griffin said. "We worked hard. We kept with them for a bit. If we would have played defense as strong as we did offense, we would have been fine."

Griffin tallied 11 of his team-high 17 points in the opening half for the Hawks, who fell to 4-17 overall and 2-10 in the VOL standings. Brian Blunt and Camron Thornton totaled seven and six points, respectively. Kyle Mountain, Sunny Moun and Jamal Wessinger all chipped in three points. Nate Villegas and Greg Mathews added two points each.

Kiwi Gardner scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter to lead Manteca (19-5, 12-1). E.J. Godfrey and Taylor Hasal had 14 points apiece. Ernie Pimentel collected nine points.

Down 11-10, Central Valley surrendered 12 unanswered points to close the first quarter.

The Hawks cut deficit to 31-27 late in the second quarter before the Buffaloes responded with a 7-0 run.

"We were in the game early because of David's presence inside," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "We stopped going to him. We took way too many outside shots. We rushed things."

A 24-8 burst helped the Buffaloes extend their lead to 25 heading into the fourth quarter.

"We had the right defensive scheme, which was to double team Kiwi every time he had the ball," Dickson said. "What hurt us is our interior defense was not good. They got easy buckets."

The Hawks will travel to Sonora today and East Union on Friday.