Words: Josh Horen
The Centennial Eagles boys varsity basketball team finished third overall in the county standings (10-6), as well as third overall in the league standings (14-7). Despite their third-place finish, the Eagles placed top in their section for the Maryland 3A state playoffs, edging out in-county opponents such as Reservoir, Mount Hebron, Atholton, and Long Reach.
Centennial has had quite an interesting ride to their #1 seed in the 3A East Section of the MPSSAA playoffs.
Through their first eight games, the Eagles were 3-5, less than exceeding expectations. After losing their fifth game of the year to Reservoir High School, Centennial went on a three-game winning streak, adding three more in-county wins to their record and finally pulling to over .500 for the first time in the season. The winning streak, however, was short-lived, with a tough three game losing skid. All three losses came at the hands of in-county opponents, which didn’t help their race for the top seed in the east section of the playoffs. After Centennial’s loss to River Hill on January 22, a switch flipped. The Eagles have been on an absolute tear since then, rattling off nine straight victories to close out the regular season.
The Eagles haven’t just been winning games, they have been dominating games. Centennial’s average margin of victory over their nine-game win streak has been just over 16 points and their closest win was a seven-point win over arch-rival, Mt. Hebron. The Eagles offense has seriously picked up. Centennial finished with four players in the top 50 of Howard County for scoring. Senior Corey Eudell is averaging 6.5 points per contest, Senior Hayden Ford is averaging 7.7 points per game, Senior Andrew Hohmann is averaging 10.0 points per game, and Senior Sean Taylor leads the way averaging 10.8.
Thanks to the nine-game winning streak to close out the year, the Eagles not only secured the #1 seed in the East region, they have also clinched a first-round bye. Centennial has to win three games before they make it back to the promised land; Xfinity Center.
Taylor, spearheading this offense, has not lost sight of what is important heading into these playoffs.
“I’m excited for what’s to come. The playoffs bring out the best in everybody individually and in each team. I know I am ready and I think, as a team, everybody has a great mindset going into this win or go home environment,” said Taylor. “For the playoffs, I’m really focused on being a leader for my team and helping them push through what might be some tough moments.”
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