The Central Valley Hawks presented a good test early, or at least a better test for the Tigers than the league schedule has proved to be.
But Patterson passed with flying colors as the Tigers disposed of the home team, 67-34, in Western Athletic Conference action.
The Tigers continue to build upon their undefeated title of last year, with 10 straight wins to open up the 2014 WAC season, extending their league winning streak, to 24 games.
The playoffs loom for the Tigers, but much remains to be determined in the home stretch of the regular season for Central Valley.
Unbeaten Patterson (21-4, 10-0) sits atop the WAC, where it seeks to clinch a second consecutive conference crown with two league games remaining.
Central Valley (11-9, 4-4), meanwhile, is trying to squeeze into the postseason, and are still mathematically alive for the conference's No. 3 seed.
On Thursday, Central Valley rolled out an athletic squad, one with multiple scorers. In the first quarter, the Hawks got into Patterson defensively. They forced turnovers.
Yes, the Tigers prevailed by 33 points and were never seriously challenged. But, even for brief moments, Central Valley gave Patterson a bit of pause.
Both teams went back and forth offensively throughout the first quarter, and the lead would change hands six times.
Central Valley worked hard to take Mele Tupouata of Patterson out of her offensive game, but she didn't cave in. Tupouata kept looking for shots, getting a tough bucket inside, on a pass from Dayna Hansen, to give the Tigers a 10-9 edge heading into the second period.
The lead exchanged hands four more times in the second quarter, before Patterson began connecting from outside, closing out the half with an impressive 9-0 surge, including a pair of three-pointers from Shealyn Craven (12 points, three assists, three steals).
Patterson took a 32-21 lead into the break, and the Tigers coasted through the remaining two quarters on that wide advantage to defeat Central Valley in the first of two meetings between the two teams this season.
The Tigers began the third quarter with 13 consecutive points. With that, Patterson never felt seriously threatened again. It outscored Central Valley 35-13 in the second half. Most encouraging, it received big games from several of its key players.
Ultimately, the visitors were too talented and too athletic to be denied. As has been the case, Patterson's experience stood out. Tupouata scored 18 points (9-of-12) and grabbed 14 rebounds, as she controlled the paint.
Jovanah Arrington tallied 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Hansen contributed six points, three rebounds, two assists and 10 steals.
Danielle Jenkins helped Patterson with nine points and five rebounds, Ariyanna Cashen added four points and five rebounds and Povai Fesili had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. All three players were active and made an impact off the bench.
The Tigers will host a Thursday, Feb. 13 game against Pacheco High of Los Banos. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
After picking up a win with a 58-13 rout against Pacheco High of Los Banos on Tuesday, Feb. 4, the JV Tigers dropped a 47-40 decision to Central Valley on Thursday night.
Jadan Rodriguez (three steals) scored 10 points and Kajeane Davis had eight as they paced the Tigers against the Central Valley Hawks.
Samantha Dougherty logged seven points, six rebounds and four steals, and Emma Hansen added six points and two rebounds.
Brandy Brown pulled down 17 rebounds against Central Valley, and Esther Ekueme added 12.
Against Pacheco, Ekueme scored a team-high 18 points and Rodriguez notched 11. Hansen and Davis recorded 10 and seven points, respectively, for the Tigers.
Patterson's freshman basketball team lost to Central Valley 58-20 on Thursday.
Jaira Luna scored nine points and added six rebounds and six steals for Patterson, while Nau Paletua contributed six points and two rebounds.
Veronica Vargas helped the Tigers with four points, three rebounds and two steals, and Tequea Penney grabbed a team-high nine boards.
Reversing what had been an encouraging performance for the visiting Tigers, the Pacheco Panthers scored the last two points to claim a 22-21 home win on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Paletua scored six points to lead Patterson.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.