Words: Josh Horen
The Centennial Eagles started their Wednesday night game on January 3 out of rhythm on offense and never got on the right track, losing to an undefeated in-county Reservoir Gators, 62-52.
The game started off with an incredibly slow pace and turnovers by both teams.
Both the Eagles and the Gators seemingly could not get their shots to fall in the first quarter, ending the quarter with a low score of 13-10 Reservoir.
Senior Kaleb Addisu, who had four points, followed by fellow seniors Andrew Hohmann and Jaden Williams who had two points each, led the scoring attack.
Senior Hayden Ford’s scratch from the line-up definitely had an impact on the lack of scoring and rebounding; he was unable to play because he missed the school day. On top of that, Centennial’s rebounding proved to be a huge problem during the game.
“We have to be tougher as a team: both mentally and physically. A lot of times we were in position but we just got outworked,” said senior Sean Taylor in regards to the team’s rebounding.
However, the second quarter, both offenses picked up their game.
Taylor buried a deep three-pointer to tie the game at 13-13, and then Reservoir went on a 4-1 run and took a 17-14 lead; however, a Williams behind the back dribble to evade the defender and then a pass to Hohmann for the lay-up for a one-point advantage quickly answered that run.
The second quarter, the Eagles played better offensively but still looked like they were missing something or were out of tune.
Addisu added five more points in the quarter, heading into halftime with a team-high nine points.
The Gators went into halftime carrying a 31-23 lead. An eight-point deficit at half seemed like a lot more than it actually was. The Eagles were sloppy on the glass, committed turnovers, and didn’t fully get their offense moving, yet were only down single digits at the half.
Centennial needed a big second half adjustment on offense if they wanted a chance to win this game.
The third quarter did not go the way Centennial players and fans would have liked it to go.
They were consistently down five to eight points and just could not close the gap on offense. With 1:45 left to play in the third quarter, the Eagles switched to a 2-3 zone, which just wasn’t effective. Centennial went into the fourth quarter trailing 45-36.
Within the first three minutes, the Eagles pulled to within just five points, but after that they got smeared, and the Gators ran away with the game with ease.
The Eagles offense was just not there tonight.
“With regards to the offense, it’s as simple as working together and knocking down some shots. Our teamwork has spurts of fluidity and spurts of disconnection. It’s not an issue of not knowing what we individually do best, it’s the effort to work for each other,” said Taylor, “we’ve unfortunately dug ourselves [into] a deep hole in the county; however, it’s not insurmountable,” Taylor continued, “we’ve got to regroup and come with that fire and vengeance every game. Because of our frequent success year in and year out, teams put a target on us. We have to understand that and play with that intensity that we display against each other in practice,” Taylor concluded
The Gators now improve to 4-0 in the county while Centennial drops to 1-3 in the county.
The Eagles don’t have a lot of time to dwell on the loss as they face Howard on Friday January 5.
To see photos from tonight’s game, click here.
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