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Centre advances in regionals

Hett reaches career milestone

Staff writer

After losing a disappointing overtime game against Chase County on Friday, the Centre boys redeemed themselves Monday by defeating Rural Vista, 44-34, in the first round of 1A regionals on their home court.

The Cougars entered the tournament in fourth place with an overall record of 8-12. Rural Vista was seeded fifth at 7-11.

Led by Jensen Riffel, the Cougars wowed the crowd with their speed and swift passes in a spread-out field as they sought out and found inside shots.

Nonetheless, Rural Vista was no pushover. The Heat led at the end of the first quarter, 14-12, as four 3-pointers kept them in the game.

Riffel poured it on in the second quarter, scoring Centre’s eight points, while Rural Vista scored just two. Centre led, 20-16.

Despite two 3-pointers by Rural Vista, Riffel had three more layups in the third quarter, along with baskets by Dalton Stika and Lane Methvin. The Cougars expanded their lead to eight points.

The Heat pulled within three points in the fourth quarter, but Centre followed with an 11-point run by Methvin, Riffel, Kyle Peterson, and Jacob Hird, to lead 42-29.

The final score was 44-34. Riffel scored a career-high 18 points. Methvin had 9 points.

Against Chase County, Centre boys dominated the second and third quarters after a first-quarter tie to lead 35-28. However, the Bulldogs gradually closed the gap in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 44-44.

Overtime proved to be disastrous for the Cougars, as two starters were on the bench as Chase County made three consecutive 3-pointers in two minutes. The Bulldogs went on to outscore Centre 13-6 for a seven-point victory.

Stika led Centre’s scoring with 12 points, all as 3-pointers in the first half. Methvin scored 11 points, while other scorers were Svoboda with nine, Riffel with eight, and Braxton Smith with six.

Centre will play top-seeded Little River in the semi-finals Thursday at Goessel.

Hett surpasses 1,000 career points

Centre girls’ overall record for the regular season was 10-10 after falling to Chase County, 44-35, on Friday at home in a non-league game.

The third-seeded Cougars had a home game Tuesday against sixth-seeded Solomon in the first round of the regional tournament and won 58-44.

Senior Kelsey Hett scored 24 points, surpassing 1,000 points for her high school career

The team will play second-seeded, 12-8 Little River Friday at Goessel.

Hett had four 3-pointers Friday and led Centre’s scoring, with 19 points.

The Cougars kept up with the Bulldogs for one quarter before falling behind by halftime, 26-21. Alyssa Espinoza made three 3-pointers in the first half for nine points, but she failed to score in the second half.

Scoring fell off for both teams in the third quarter. Centre was scoreless and Chase County scored two points.

Freshman Lili Espinoza made two baskets, Carlye Deines made two free throws, and Hett scored eight points in the fourth quarter, while Chase County scored 14 to win by nine points.

“Despite our deficit in height, we competed well with Chase County on the boards and defensively,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “We made a couple of good runs at them in the fourth quarter.”

Last modified Feb. 27, 2020

 

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