After defeating Rural Vista a week earlier in regular season play, the Centre boys’ basketball team defeated the Heat again Friday in the Cougar Classic tournament.
They were playing in a consolation game after losing to Sacred Heart in the first round.
Dakota Stimpson made two treys in the first quarter, and Jared Barney made another. Cole Methvin made a free throw and Dylan Deines made a basket. Centre led 12-10 at the end of the quarter.
The Cougars were ahead 31-20 in the third quarter when Centre had a string of fouls, and Vista’s deadly free-throw shooting allowed them to stage a comeback. The Heat made 10 free throws and a 2-point shot to close the gap to 4 points.
Vista tied the game, 40-40, with 4 free throws early in the fourth quarter. From there on, the game went right down to the wire, with Centre regaining the lead and then tying with Vista two more times. Srajer and Stimpson made 3-pointers and National Engler made a basket and 1 free throw.
The score was 52-50 when Deines and Justin Bina combined for 5 free throws, resulting in a 7-point victory.
Deines, Srajer, and Stimpson scored 11 points each. Other scorers were Barney, 9, and Methvin, Bina, and Engler, 5 points each.
Centre played for fifth place Saturday but was defeated by Elyria Christian, 56-44.
The game remained close until the final minutes. Centre trailed by 1 point when Elyria made 10 unanswered free throws, taking a 55-42 lead. Srajer made a 2-pointer and Elyria another free throw for a 12-point Centre loss.
Dakota Stimpson led scoring with 13 points. Engler had one of his best scoring nights with 11 points.