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Centre girls win, boys lose season openers

Staff writer

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.

Boys

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

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