Playing on the road Friday against a team ranked in the top 10 by Kansas high school basketball coaches, the Centre Cougars were defeated by Central Christian of Hutchinson, 65-58.
Despite the loss, Coach Richard Idleman was pleased with the team’s performance in its first night out.
“It was remarkable, considering the fact that we were playing on the road against a team with that level of success,” he said. “We had too many turnovers, but I was very impressed with the team’s tenacity. They did not give up and they did not give in.”
He said he was gratified to see that players who came in off the bench played with the same drive as the starters.
Trailing 19-13 after one quarter, the Cougars outscored Central 17-10 in the second quarter to lead 30-29 at halftime.
A 23-12 scoring deficit in the third quarter put an abrupt end to the Cougars’ lead. They outscored Central 16-13 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
Idleman said junior Cole Methvin was excellent at the boards, snagging 12 rebounds.
Sophomore Cole Srajer led Centre’s scoring with 17 points, including two from beyond the arc and three from the free-throw line.
Senior Nathaniel Engler also scored in double figures with 13 points. He made three 3-pointers and two free throws.
Other scorers were Methvin and Cody Svoboda, 8 points each; Dylan Deines, 7; C.J. Thompson and Xavier Espinoza, 2 each; and Brendon Bina, 1.
The Cougars are playing this week in a Herington tournament.