After defeating Herington Dec. 10 and Northern Heights Thursday in the Herington Pre-season Tournament, the Centre boys’ basketball team faced formidable, state-ranked 3A Southeast of Saline Saturday in the championship game.
The Trojans towered over the Cougars, but the team fought fiercely to the end, losing the game by 13 points.
Ty Simons scored the first points of the game, but SES showed its strength and speed, finishing the first quarter with a 17-6 lead. Kyle Methvin had Centre’s other four points.
The Cougars found their rhythm in the second quarter, not allowing the Trojans to get a bigger lead. Simons made three field goals and three free throws, and Dakota Stimpson and Nathaniel Engler each added two points. SES led 30-19 at halftime.
SES increased its lead by three in the third quarter, scoring 13 points to Centre’s 10. Grant Srajer sunk a trey, Simons made two layups and a free throw, and Chad Mueller added two free throws. The Cougars kept up with the Trojans in the fourth quarter, outscoring them 14-13. The final score was 56-43.
Simons scored 21 points and had seven rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Methvin had six points and led at the boards with 10 rebounds.
The game against 2A Herington proved to be no sweat for the 1A Cougars as they defeated the Railers 72-48. The first three quarters were competitive. Centre led 28-25 at halftime and 50-42 at the end of the third period. However, a 22-6 advantage in the fourth quarter resulted in a 24-point Cougar victory.
Simons scored a career-high 31 points, including 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. He also had 17 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals, and he took a charge. Conner Montgomery also scored in double figures with 14 points including two treys. He had three steals.
The game against 2A Northern Heights was close for the first three quarters. Centre led 44-43 but outscored the Wildcats 10-3 in the fourth quarter to win, 50-46.
Simons and Srajer each had 14 points and two steals. Methvin had 11 rebounds, followed by Simons with 10. Srajer had four assists.