The stakes were high heading into Central Catholic's 59-49 win over Patterson Friday night, and the Tigers could not silence the boisterous Raider supporters at a gymnasium filled nearly to capacity for the match between conference contenders.
For now, the Tigers are the WAC's second-best basketball team again, if just by two games.
By virtue of the 10-point victory, Central Catholic (17-5, 7-0) swept the season series against Patterson (11-9, 5-2) for the first time since 2010. It gives the Raiders a two-game cushion over the local contingent in the league standings with five games remaining.
Prior to the start of the current WAC season, five of the last six games played between the two programs were decided by nine or less points. The Tigers' three wins during that stretch came by a combined victory margin of just six points.
Following a dominant 76-50 road triumph against a overmatched Patterson squad on Jan. 10, the Raiders -- who move to the Valley Oak League next year -- capped a sweep of the two-game season set with a win at home.
Senior Donovin Townsend, who scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the opening half, led the Raiders with eight first-quarter points and helped his team build an early 8-4 advantage.
But senior Cariaun Williams' 3-pointer brought Patterson within one, and classmate Jordan Levu's bucket on an assist from Williams gave the Tigers their first lead of the contest at 9-8.
It didn't take long for Williams to generate his next highlight, as he stymied Central Catholic's 6-foot-6 post Jonathan Boddie near the rim.
With a little under two minutes remaining in the first period and the Tigers leading by three, Boddie drove baseline against Patterson's defense. Williams saw the play develop with plenty of time to come across the paint and position himself for a contesting effort.
Boddie took off from outside the protected circle with a fairly ambitious effort, and Williams rose to contest the shot with his right hand, deflecting the ball as Boddie tried to power through to finish the play.
The block ignited the visiting student section, and helped key a 9-2 run for Patterson, who took a 13-10 lead into the second quarter.
Townsend went up strong for a layup and drew a foul, completing a three-point play to tie the game 13-all, and junior Drew Loya later knocked down a 3-ball to give Central Catholic a six-point lead (27-21) with 2:04 left before halftime.
However, the Tigers closed the gap on a pair of made free throws by Levu, and a layup by Justin Rodriguez pulled the visitors within 27-25.
But Central Catholic made 2-of-4 attempts from the charity stripe in the closing ticks of the first half, and claimed a four-point edge at the break.
Patterson got within two points twice in the third quarter, but the Raiders scored the last eight of the period to take a 44-34 lead into the final eight minutes.
Williams made a pair of free throws that got Patterson within 53-47 late in the fourth period. But Central Catholic held off the Tigers the rest of the way with six straight free throws from Townsend.
Rodriguez led Patterson starters with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Levu added 10 points and a team-high eight boards.
Williams added nines points and three assists for the Tigers, while senior Michael Smith had eight points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Tigers will travel for a Wednesday, Jan. 29 game against Los Banos High. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Facing a large deficit late in the second quarter, the JV Tigers could've gone down easily.
Not this night.
Trailing by double digits, Patterson used a 19-10 burst in the second period to tie the game 27-all at halftime, but didn't quite have enough, falling to host Central Catholic 74-60 in WAC play Friday evening.
The third quarter featured six lead changes, before the Raiders finally pulled away in the fourth with a 20-8 run.
Avery Dehoyos recorded 13 points and three rebounds for Patterson.
Kosi Ogbuli (seven rebounds) scored 12 points, Nana Appiah (five rebounds) had 10 and Spirit Ricks (11 rebounds, four assists) had nine for the Tigers.
The freshman Tigers lost to Central Catholic 66-31 on Friday.
Pierre Williams scored eight points for Patterson, while Ivan Ornelas contributed seven points and four boards.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.