Eagles Soar Above the Storm (Zack Newman)

On December 16, 2011 the varsity boys basketball team representing the Centennial High School (CHS) Eagles stopped by the gym of the Long Reach High School (LRHS) Lightning. Coming off of a three game win streak, including a recent victory over a sharp shooting Marriotts Ridge High School, the Eagles looked anything but fallible. After Senior Steven Klima got the ball rolling with a deep trey, Centennial went right to work. In the first quarter, they did what they have been doing best all season, utilizing their elite passing, quick hands, and swarming defense. This formidable defense applied more than enough pressure to force the Long Reach offensive to become futile. The Lightning were finally able to put the sphere in the basket with 2:05 remaining in the first stanza. The quarter ended with LRHS only able to add an additional deuce to their side of the scoreboard and CHS well ahead, 18-4.

Long Reach began to slightly slow the torrential downpour of CHS points to a drizzle as the second quarter continued, and eventually began to dig themselves out of the deep grave they had dug themselves in the first quarter of play. This is due to the early foul trouble that many of the Eagles found themselves in, and the tentative way in which they rebounded. These second and third shots within point blank range allowed LRHS to stage a bit of a comeback. However, the Centennial defense stayed true, shoved Long Reach right back down to the bottom of the proverbial grave, and went up by nine points going into halftime, 32-21.

The Eagles and the Lightning began the third quarter determined, and a hard fought battle ensued. Instilled by controversial refereeing (or lack thereof), and the constant opportunities at the free throw line that ensued, Long Reach chipped away at the Centennial lead only to be suppressed yet again by the end of the third act, 41-33.

The ceaseless intensity of LRHS allowed them to break the lead down to a mere nine points, but it was to no avail. Centennial’s own tireless efforts proved stronger, and they clinched the win with a 62-49 finish. Centennial’s head coach, Chad Hollwedel, was immensely pleased with various members of his team, such as Ben Goldsmith (among others), who had stepped up to the plate and preformed when the team needed it most. Hollwedel expounded that “if we have one kid that is not [preforming] as well as he normally does, we have three kids waiting to pick that up.”