Centre girls win, boys lose season openers
One Centre team went home happy, the other sad after basketball games Friday at Central Christian High School in Hutchinson.
Despite limited to a roster of eight and with several freshmen playing varsity competition for the first time, the Lady Cougars defeated Central Christian, 46-42.
The girls trailed 6-1 after one quarter but tied it at 6-all when sophomore Kelsey Hett made a 3-pointer early in the second quarter. Hett also forced two turnovers on charges and senior Emily Schlesener made a basket, but Central Christian was ahead 15-9 at halftime.
The Lady Cougars started to close the gap in the third quarter. Hett scored 5 consecutive points and Schlesener made a basket before senior Kate Basore made two baskets to put Centre ahead, 20-19, with 5 minutes to go in the quarter. They ended the quarter with an 8-point lead.
Central Christian battled back in the fourth to trail by only 2 points, 44-42, with seconds remaining. Two free throws by senior Janel Dones gave Centre a 4-point lead for the victory. Basore and Schlesener had 4 points each in the quarter, Alyssa Espinoza made a basket, and Hett made 3 free throws.
Hett led scoring with 15 points, followed by Basore with 10.
It was Cougars against Cougars as the boys faced a team pegged at no. 1 in a coaches’ poll. Centre pulled a surprise against Central Christian last year, beating them at home in the season opener; but they couldn’t pull off another Friday.
After a 5-2 lead early in the game, the Cougars started missing shots. Good shooting by Central Christian led to a 15-5 lead after one quarter.
Senior Zach Barney added 6 points and senior Cole Srajer added 4 free throws in the second quarter. The team got within 9 points but trailed by 12 at halftime.
The Cougars continued to battle hard offensively against a tough defense, scoring 19 points in the third quarter. In addition to 8 points by Srajer, junior Xavier Espinoza scored 9 points, seniors Max Svoboda and C.J. Thompson each made a basket, and sophomore Jensen Riffel made a free throw, but the gap remained unchanged.
Senior Cody Svoboda scored 3 points in the fourth quarter. Espinoza, Barney, Srajer and sophomore Braxton Smith also contributed points, but Central Christian added 17 points to win, 67-53.
Srajer led scoring with 26 points, including 12 of 18 free throws. Barney scored 10 points.
Both teams are playing in the pre-season tournament at Herington this week.
Last modified Dec. 7, 2017