Centre teams fight 2A Bennington
Centre boys and girls basketball teams played their hearts out Friday at home in a season opener against Bennington, but both were defeated.
The boys lost, 62-52, but every member except one of the eight-man roster contributed points.
They trailed 0-8 before Xavier Espinoza made two free throws at 3:32 in the first quarter. Lane Methvin made a free throw and Jacob Hird scored a 2-pointer, but the Bulldogs led 11-5 at the end of the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Aiden Svoboda to open the second quarter brought the Cougars within three points. They kept the game close for four minutes, with three free throws and a basket by Hird and free throws by Luke Hudson and Methvin.
Centre trailed by 11 points when Svoboda made a basket, Espinoza had two consecutive 2-pointers, and Methvin made a free throw, narrowing the gap to eight, 29-21, at halftime.
The fast-paced game began to wear on the Cougars in the second half. Dalton Stika stepped up and scored five points from the floor, but Centre trailed by as much as 17 points after Bennington went on a nine-point scoring run in the third quarter.
The Cougars continued to play aggressively in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 10 points, helped by four 3-point shots: two by Svoboda and one each by Espinoza and Stika.
By the time the game ended, four Cougars had four fouls and one had fouled out. Leading scorers were Espinoza, 13; Svoboda, 11; and Stika, 10.
Coach Richard Idleman was pleased with his team’s play but saw numerous areas that needed improvement, including scoring and defensive and offensive strategies.
The girls lost, 47-28. With just eight players on the roster, Centre struggled to keep pace with a 14-member Bennington team. They held their own for three quarters, but a bad second quarter did them in.
Kelsey Hett was hot at the basket in the first quarter, scoring Centre’s eight points to match Bennington’s eight points.
However, the Bulldogs outscored Centre 18-1 in the second quarter, putting the team in a deep hole. Centre’s only score came on a free throw by Carly Deines.
Bennington outscored Centre 21-19 in the second half. Alyssa Espinoza scored six points, Deines three, Allie Hird and Samantha Espinoza two each, and Hett four. Hett led scoring overall with 14 points.
Centre will play in a pre-season tournament at Herington, beginning Thursday against Chase County. The girls will play at 4 p.m., and the boys will play at 5:30 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 6, 2018