Photos: Shalini Malhotra
Words: Giana Han
The girls’ varsity basketball team pulled off a stunning victory in a high scoring, highly competitive game against the Hebron Vikings.
From the start, the two teams were neck and neck. Centennial scored the first points, but Hebron quickly answered. By the end of the first quarter, the Eagles were only up 13-11.
The Eagles came out strong in the second quarter with purpose and aggression. Senior Kimmy Eads and freshman Kelly Simmons worked hard in the paint and helped the team to score 16 more points, and sophomore Ally Driscoll sunk a morale raising three point shot.
On the defensive end of the court, senior Anna Mitchell dominated the boards with defensive rebounds, and Driscoll caused turmoil in the Vikings’ offense with multiple steals and deflections. The strong defensive front put up by the Eagles held the Vikings to six points for the quarter. At the end of the first half, Centennial had extended its lead by 9 points, 29-20.
After halftime, the two teams stepped up their defensive games. The ball changed possession quickly with steals and blocks by both teams. Hebron outscored Centennial 14-9, but the Eagle’s lead was enough to keep them ahead going into the final quarter with a score of 38-34.
With the end of the game approaching in the final quarter, Hebron upped the intensity level. By pressuring the Eagles and causing many turnovers, the Vikings were able to go on a scoring run and bring the game within two.
“I knew we were getting frazzled by their intensity,” said Eads, “but we just had to push it and finish the game our way.”
Mitchell took the game back into control by converting several steals and defensive rebounds into points, and Eads and Driscoll hit several crucial foul shots.
The final seconds were stop and go as Hebron used up their fouls, and several calls went their way to keep the possession under the Eagle’s basket. However, Driscoll intercepted the pass that would have been the Viking’s last chance to tie the game, and when the final buzzer rang out, it was the Centennial team that poured onto the court.
They had beaten their rivals -their previously undefeated rivals- 52-49.
One of the factors that helped the Eagles to emerge victorious was the extensive preparation that went into getting ready for the game.
“We had a lot of our alumni [basketball players] come back and help out at the practices,” said Eads. “Every minute of every hour was intense.”
The preparation was evident in the way every player showed up for the game. Junior Kewa Gray put up five points, senior Jordan Burk had two, and sophomore Sandy Eicchorn snatched two rebounds and two steals. Driscoll contributed seven points in addition to four steals, and Simmons had two steals, a block, and eleven points.
However, seniors Mitchell and Eads acted as power houses in their final regular season home game against Hebron. Mitchell dominated the rebounding stats with 11 rebounds and put eight points on the board as well. Eads led the team in scoring with 15 points.
The Eagles will next head to Marriotts Ridge on Friday. According to Eads, they plan to “take every game as it comes, with the same heart, same desire, and same intensity.”