Centre basketball teams started the new year like they ended the old year, with victories.
Both teams defeated new league member Herington on Friday at home.
Kate Basore scored 21 points and made 7 of 8 free throws to lead the girls to a 42-33 victory. Shelby Pankratz made 2 treys and scored 10 points.
A lop-sided 12-2 second quarter gave the Lady Cougars a 20-7 advantage at halftime.
Herington came from behind in the second half to go ahead by 1, a Summer Espinoza free throw tied the game. Basore made two free throws, after which an illegal substitution by Herington resulted in a technical and two more free throws by Espinoza. After a few more free throws and a last-second putback shot by Basore, Centre walked away with a 9-point victory.
“Good free-throw shooting in the final seconds made the difference,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “We made 7 out of 8 in the last 23.7 seconds. Getting to shoot all those free throws was pretty critical.”
The boys’ team improved its record to 6-1 with a rousing 70-48 victory, with 12 players scoring.
Centre led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter, with Cody Svoboda, Cole Methvin, Cole Srajer, Xavier Espinoza, and Brendon Bina contributing points.
Srajer stole the ball several times in the second quarter for 6 points. Methvin nailed a trey, and C.J. Thompson and Dylan Deines added 2 points each. Centre led 29-24 at halftime.
The Cougars increased their defensive pressure in the third quarter, forcing numerous turnovers and steals. They held Herington to 6 points while scoring 22.
With a lead of 21 points, coach Richard Idleman put the second string in early in the fourth quarter. Thompson, Max Svoboda, Daniel Rudolph, Austin Peterson, James Spohn, and Zach Barney all scored for a combined 19 points and a 22-point victory.
“I was very pleased with our man-to-man defense both full-court and half-court,” Idleman said. “Their defensive intensity carried over to the offense.”
Srajer led scoring with 19 points, followed by Methvin, 1l, Deines, 9, and Thompson, 8.
Cody Svoboda led on the boards with 8 rebounds.
The Cougars scored two victories Tuesday over Little River.
The girls trailed throughout the first half, but chipped away to tie the score late in the third quarter. The Cougars caught fire in the fourth, running away from the Redskins for a blowout 54-36 win.
Kelsey Hett led Centre with 16 points, and Kate Basore was close behind with 15.
The boys got off to a fast start and controlled the first two quarters, forging a 34-16 halftime lead.
Little River came out strong in the second half, cutting the lead to single digits, 43-34, going into the fourth quarter. The Redskins got as close as 4 points, but the Cougars held on to win 55-50.
Dylan Deines scored 16, Cody Svoboda dropped in 14, and Cole Srajer tallied 12.
The Cougars will warm up for their upcoming Cougar Classic tournament with home games Friday against Rural Vista.