Centre teams finish 3rd, 4th
After victories Jan. 15 against Peabody-Burns basketball teams in the opening round of the Cougar Classic, Centre teams lost in the second round Wednesday. The girls lost against Herington, eventual champions, 52-44; the boys against Elyria, 36-33.
The girls finished Thursday in third place, winning 55-45 against Solomon. The boys finished fourth, losing to Rural Vista, 56-38.
The last two days, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, were moved up because of a forecast of inclement weekend weather.
Centre battled a tall Railer team, getting a slow start and trailing 13-5 after one quarter. The girls were competitive the rest of the game, even outscoring the Railers 19-16 in the third quarter. They came within four points before losing by 8. Kelsey Hett led scoring with 15 points, followed by Allie Hird with 12.
Hett scored a career-high 27 points Thursday against Solomon, including four treys and seven of eight free throws. Alyssa Espinoza made two field goals in the third quarter and seven of eight free throws in the fourth to score 11 points.
“Excellent free-throw shooting was big in this game for us,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “We hit 16 of 19 free throws.”
Scoring summary for three games — Hett, 60 points; Hird, 29; Alyssa Espinoza, 28; Samantha Espinoza, 18; Carly Deines, 10; Cailey Barney, 8; Emily Casey, 7; and Alex Remmers, 2.
Facing a taller Elyria team in the semi-finals, the Cougars scored just four points in the first quarter, trailing 10-4. They got more aggressive in the second quarter and trailed 16-17 at halftime. Elyria expanded its lead in the second half, but Centre battled back to within three points in the last minute to lose by three. Xavier Espinoza led scoring with 15 points.
Rural Vista was even taller and bigger than Elyria, putting the Cougars at a disadvantage. Centre trailed by 13 points in the second quarter when Jacob Hird scored five consecutive points and Xavier Espinoza made a free throw and a trey, narrowing the gap to seven.
With a little more than one minute remaining in the third quarter, Espinoza scored five unanswered points to bring Centre within three. Dalton Stika made a trey and Espinoza, Jensen Riffel, and Aidan Svoboda scored field goals in the fourth quarter, but Rural Vista added 19 points for a victory.
Scoring summery for three games — Espinoza, 42 points and 28 rebounds; Stika, 23 and 17; Hird, 23 and 7; Riffel, 14 and 14; Svoboda, 11 and 12; Lane Methvin, 5 and 3; Tanner Wiggans, 3 and 1; and Mikey Silhan and Kyle Peterson, 2 each.
Last modified Jan. 24, 2019