Eagles Raid Raiders of Victory (Zack Newman)

On March 1, 2012, the Centennial High School Eagles hosted the Atholton High School Raiders in the 3A East Regional Semi-final. This was the third time this season the ball was tipped off between the foes, and a rematch of last season’s 3A Regional Final.

Amid a Raider reach for the lead in the final minutes of the first quarter and a cornucopia of controversial calls (to the howling dismay of the Centennial faithful), the Eagles kept remarkable composure to maintain a 12-8 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. “We just have to control what we can control, and that’s what we did,” explained senior Ben Goldsmith.

In the second stanza, a defensive slug match ensued, one side could just not figure out a way to maintain a sizable lead to speak of. The half ended with Centennial ahead by a mere duce, 24-22.

The senior leadership that has been omnipresent throughout the course of the season shone brightly in the starting minutes of the second half. All of the seniors, most notably Goldsmith and Keonte Potts, girdled the weight of the team and hastily added points to their surmounting lead to the frustration of Atholton Head Coach Jim Albert. Albert was forced to take a timeout in hopes of icing the Red Swarm.

It did not work. The Eagles hatched their first half shell and dropped a total of 11 points before the Raiders could respond with a bucket of their own. Junior Timi Tinuoye played like a man possessed, seemingly everywhere at once; he snagged 12 rebounds and ascertained 15 points. Centennial continued to play solid, fundamental basketball throughout the third quarter and distanced themselves from Atholton, 41-32.

Centennial combined their excellent team play with success at the foul line in the fourth quarter (they converted 18 shots in the fourth quarter alone) to put away the victory. The final score was heavily weighted in the Eagles’ favor, 63-51. Junior Brad Benson excitedly exclaimed that “it’s a big win!”

Centennial will welcome the victor of the Annapolis High School and Reservoir High School matchup on March 3, 2012 to the Eagles’ Nest.