Update: Central Valley jumps Patterson in league standings
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 18, 2014 | 1196 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CERES -- Central Valley High's varsity boys basketball team clinched second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings Monday, Feb. 17 with a big 63-44 victory over the Patterson High Tigers on its home floor.

The Tigers (14-12, 8-4) came into the matchup with Central Valley (21-6, 9-3) tied with the Hawks. They needed a win to overtake Central Valley and earn the league's second seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

The top three teams from the conference qualify for the postseason.

Patterson, seeded No. 15, travels to Fairfield on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to face No. 2 Vanden High (17-10) in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

"I'm proud of the team -- we've overcome a lot together," said Patterson coach Brian de la Porte. "It just seems like we're not catching any type of break this season. We've been battling uphill all year long. But we're doing a good job of fighting and competing."

Central Valley aimed to win the season series against the Tigers on Monday night -- the Hawks handed Patterson its second league home loss of the campaign, 55-52 on Feb. 7. The WAC foes met in Ceres on the final day of regular season action before both teams are placed in their playoff brackets by division.

Patterson will be without its head coach during next week's playoff opener.

De la Porte received two quick technical fouls and was ejected with 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter for arguing a call with an official while his team was down by 11 (55-44).

The Tiger coach said he asked the referee why one of his players was called for an offensive foul moments earlier in the contest, drawing the first technical, and admitted to earning the whistle.

But nothing he said following the referee's initial blow seemed particularly egregious, de la Porte added.

"I didn't do a good job of keeping my emotions in check," de la Porte said. "I feel bad for the (Tiger) players."

Patterson assistant coach James Toste and junior varsity coach Buzzy Wheeland will serve as a one-game replacement for de la Porte.

On Monday, the Hawks scored the first seven points of the game, including a steal and slam dunk from senior Kendall Johnson (11 points) in the opening minute, as part of a 13-3 Central Valley run in the first quarter.

However, senior Michael Smith distributed five assists to five different teammates in the first eight minutes, including a pass to classmate Jordan Dinu, who connected from behind the arc, and Patterson capped the opening period with a 12-4 spurt, to cut Central Valley's lead to 17-15.

Senior Deavon Brown, who scored 14 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, hit two three-pointers in the second quarter, and Central Valley outscored Patterson 14-8 in the period for a 31-23 lead at halftime.

Senior Jordan Levu (10 rebounds), who tallied 15 of his team-high 17 points after the intermission, scored nine in the third quarter, and Dinu deposited a floating one-handed jump shot in the lane with 23 seconds left in the period, to get Patterson within two (40-38), heading into the closing frame.

Patterson had its chances to tie or take the lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. But each time the Tigers got within shouting distance, Central Valley had an answer.

Following a Brown basket, senior Ryan Donnelly (10 points) converted a three-point play to put the Hawks up 46-40. Patterson never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

Smith finished with six points, four steals and eight assists for the Tigers, and junior Kevin Phelps added six points and nine boards.

"While we didn't accomplish some of the goals that we set out for, I'm proud of the way that we worked hard and fought," de la Porte said. "I demand a lot and the team gave me a lot. It's not over. We're going to continue to play."

Junior varsity

Central Valley built a 10-point lead against Patterson after eight minutes, and added to that lead in each of the next two quarters. When it was over, the host Hawks were celebrating a WAC title and a 72-52 victory.

Kosi Ogbuli (14 rebounds) scored 14 points for Patterson (7-5 WAC), and Antoine Bostic added 12 points off the bench. Ernesto Huizar finished with 10 points, four rebounds and five steals.

Freshmen

Patterson couldn't overcome a buzzer-beater that forced overtime and took a 64-62 defeat against host Central Valley Monday night.

After Angel Rojas' three-pointer gave Patterson a 58-55 edge with just over three seconds remaining, Central Valley hit a tying 3-ball at the buzzer in regulation.

Pierre Williams dropped in 22 points, and teammate Tevita Kelepi recorded 16 points, 13 rebounds and five steals for the Tigers (7-5 WAC).

Patterson also benefited from nine points, eight rebounds and five assists from Ivan Ornelas.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.
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