Centre basketball teams both opened league play Friday by defeating Canton-Galva in close matchups on the road. The boys improved their record to 4-1 and the girls 3-2 overall.
After a 3-pointer by the Eagles, Xavier Espinoza, Dylan Deines, Cody Svoboda, and Cole Srajer combined for 11 unanswered points and an 11-3 Cougar lead. However, the Eagles came roaring back with 10 unanswered points to lead by 2, 13-11.
Canton-Galva maintained an edge in the second quarter. A 2-point shot by Srajer and a trey by Cole Methvin brought Centre within 1. The Cougars continued to trail until Srajer made a trey and two free throws at the end of the third quarter to give Centre a 42-41 lead.
The game remained close in the fourth quarter until the Cougars turned up their defense, shut down the Eagles, and scored 13 unanswered points in the final two and a half minutes to win by 12 points, 59-47.
“The fourth quarter did it for us,” coach Richard Idleman said. “Our defense really was an all out assault. This team does not ever give in or give up.”
Srajer led scoring with 23 points, including 9 of 10 free throws, followed by Methvin with 11, Deines, 9, Svoboda, 8, and Espinoza, 6. Svoboda and Methvin led at the boards.
The Cougars also won their game against the Peabody-Burns Warriors on Tuesday 62-39.
The girls’ game was a roller coaster ride. The Lady Cougars led 10-4 after Katie Marler sunk a trey at the end of the first quarter.
A 3-pointer by Shelby Pankratz and a basket by Kate Basore gave Centre a solid lead, but the Lady Eagles went on an 11-point run to lead 18-15 at halftime.
The third quarter remained tight, ending in a 30-30 tie after Marler made a buzzer-beating trey. Centre took an 8-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter, but the Lady Eagles tied the game at the 4:00 mark. After Canton-Galva went ahead by 1 point, Kelsey Hett hit a 3-pointer and a free throw, leading to a 43-40 victory.
Shelby Pankratz scored 14 points, followed by Hett, 13, and Marler and Espinoza, 6 each.
“This was a very good win for us over a good team,” Stahlecker said.
Lady Cougars also won their game against the Peabody-Burns Warriors on Tuesday 35-15.