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Enterprise challenged by Central Valley in 39-34 road win

SHASTA LAKE – Enterprise coach Jim Deaver doesn’t like to win ugly. But in the midst of finals week, he’ll take the dub. Especially against a scrappy Central Valley squad.

The Hornets used a 7-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to pull ahead of the host Falcons for good Tuesday night and finished with a 39-34 non-league victory.

A lackluster Enterprise performance on offense allowed a senior-laden CV squad to hang around. Part of that was the defensive effort from the Falcons (5-4) and it was almost too much to overcome.

“They came in thinking they were going to roll over them and I told them ‘they’re not the CV you think they are, they’re really good,’” Deaver said. “It wasn’t pretty but they got it done. I can’t be mad about the defensive side of the ball holding them under 40 but it’s hard to sit there and watch that.”

CV, coming off winning the Maxwell Tournament, kept pace throughout against the upper division Hornets (6-2). Senior point guard Dojah Alido ran the show, setting up Max Graunstadt for a deep jumper and Nawoj Caker for a big shot from downtown. Shakur Thomas buried a pair of first half 3-pointers, the second of which from the coffin corner to give CV a 21-17 lead in the final seconds of the half.

But Enterprise’s Brennan Ramirez answered with a 3 of his own to trim CV’s lead to one by intermission.

CV never trailed in the first half and its defense was locked in – even with starters and leading rebounders Hunter Morrow and Kevin Seaman missing the game for personal reasons, CV coach Colin Carr said. Mix in a handful of guys dealing with flu-like symptoms – two of which threw up at halftime – and Carr was impressed with his team’s resiliency.

“That’s where us preaching being mentally and physically toughness comes in, knowing how to fight through it,” Carr said. “Bad things happen but as long as you keep pushing you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Demarreya Lewis-Cooper dropped in a jumper from the free throw line to give Enterprise its first lead of the game on the first shot of the third quarter. CV didn’t get the lead back until 41 seconds left in the period when Alido finished off a give-n-go inside for 2. But Jermaine Mondaine’s runner 3 at the buzzer from a few steps behind the arc put Enterprise ahead 29-27.

That shot seemed to wake the offense up for the Hornets, who had yet to have anyone take charge with the ball. Alido’s transition layup tied it at 29 to start the fourth but Enterprise answered with a 7-0 run, fueled by Gage Owen turning a steal into a layup and then finishing off a Kobe Fuller dish inside for a 36-30 advantage.

“We showed we can still play hard but they’re picking and choosing when they want to play hard and that’s not us,” Deaver said.

Alido sank two free throws to cut it the deficit to four with 2:59 remaining. But Cawker’s deep 3 rimmed out and Lewis-Cooper knocked down a 12-foot catch-and-shoot jumper to make it 38-32.

CV had a chance to respond but Cawker couldn’t handle a bounce pass cutting to the rim and Lewis-Cooper was fouled for a 1-and-1. He missed the front-end and Alido took it coast-to-coast for a layup to cut it to four with 20 seconds left.

Enterprise once again missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 and CV had a chance to make it a one possession game. Except Thomas drove between two defenders and his off-balance baseline shot hit iron and Enterprise’s Ramirez was fouled with six seconds left.

He made the first and Enterprise held on for a five-point win.

Lewis-Cooper paced Enterprise with 11 points while Alido scored 11 for CV.

The Falcons aren’t taking any brownie points for their efforts, even if they played a historic hoops program to the wire.

“I let them speak in the locker room after and (Alido) said ‘people might say we hung with Enterprise but that doesn’t mean anything; we need to understand we still lost,’” Carr said. “They’re about being something better and having a high standard and I’m proud of them for thinking that way.”

Enterprise 9-11-9-10—39
Central Valley 11-10-6-7—34
Enterprise (6-2): Lewis-Cooper 11, Mondaine 8, Owen 7, Ramirez 6, Crane 3, Fuller 2.
Central Valley (5-4): Alido 11, Cawker 7, Thomas 6, Graunstadt 6, Esquer 2, Rawls 2.
3-pointers—Enterprise 3: Owen (1), Ramirez (1), Mondaine (1); Central Valley 3: Thomas (2), Cawker (1).

T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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