The Centennial Cougars boys basketball team defeated the Summit Spartans 70-61 on their home court Friday night to start 2-0 in the district.
“It is not about how we start, it is about how we finish,” said Centennial guard Dusty Williams.
In the first quarter, baskets were exchanged back and forth until Summit senior guard Tre Carlson hit a three at the buzzer to give the Spartans the lead 15-13.
The tight contest continued as Summit came out on top 29-26 with a two pointer by senior Hayden Bell just before the buzzer.
“We just have to keep pushing,” said Centennial guard Carter Speedy. “Every game in this district is hard, so we’ve got to keep playing well.”
In the third quarter, the Cougars came roaring back with the help of Williams, Speedy, and junior guard Patrick Garrett to grab hold of the lead 47-44.
Centennial continued to catch fire in the fourth quarter and sealed the victory with clutch free throws from Williams, Garrett, and Speedy to win the contest 70-61.
“Our guys are hungry and understand the importance of these first two games,” said Centennial head coach Tyler Hickman. “Our district is crazy, so you never know what is going to happen.”
“They have a good team,” said Summit head coach Jim Fey. “It was like tournament basketball. They had five weeks to prepare for this game; we had five days with so many of our guys playing late season football. We are going to regroup and get ready to go.”
Centennial produced three players in double figures; Williams with 22 points, Speedy with 16, and Garrett with 17.
“We played as a team and were not selfish,” said Williams. “We passed the ball around and got shots. Everyone ate tonight.”
“It was just trust between teammates,” said Speedy. “Everybody got each other’s shots, and we just trusted each other to make those shots.”
“I love my team,” said Coach Hickman. “The more we can ingrain (playing as a team) in our guys’ heads and spreading the ball around, that is a mark of a great team.”
For their next game, Summit will take on Brentwood Thursday at home.
“The good news is we have three days of practice to get ready for Brentwood,” said Coach Fey. “Brentwood is a strong and good team. I think it will be a tense game going into the holidays.”
Centennial will face Independence on the road next Thursday.
“We cannot take a step back,” said Hickman. “Independence is playing really well right now and they have a heavy senior laden group. It will come down to the small details that we try to preach every day.”