Words: Caleb McClatchey
Photos: Noorie Kazmi
The Centennial Varsity Boys’ basketball team defeated Glenelg 57-56 on the Eagles’ home court Friday night.
The Eagles and Gladiators fought back and forth all night, with neither team able to take control of the game and pull away from the other.
Glenelg’s early foul trouble helped Centennial jump out to a seven point lead midway through the first quarter, the largest by either team during the game. However, Glenelg battled back and tied the game at 23 with 4:40 left in the second quarter. At the end of the half, the Eagles trailed 31-30.
The second half began much like the first, with Centennial jumping out to a 41-36 lead. Glenelg answered with a 10-0 run of their own, and led 46-41 midway through the fourth quarter. This time, Centennial closed the deficit and cut Glenelg’s lead to one point, setting up a nail-biting final two minutes.
With two minutes to go, a three-point shot by Centennial’s Ryan Hollwedel gave the Eagles a 52-50 lead. After both teams scored two points, a three-point shot by Glenelg put the Gladiators back in front 55-54 with just over a minute left. Following a Glenelg free throw which extended their lead to two points, Centennial’s Stafford Smith made a layup on a fast break to tie the game at 56.
Shortly after, a foul by Glenelg sent Centennial’s Brandon Bonner to the line. Bonner sunk his first shot but missed his second, giving the Eagles a one point lead and Glenelg one last possession. The Gladiators ran the clock down as they passed the ball around, trying to find an open look for a game-winning shot.
With only three seconds left in the game, Glenelg’s shot clanked off the rim- securing a 57-56 Eagles win and sending the Centennial crowd into a frenzy.
Centennial was kept relatively quiet from beyond the arc for most of the night, making only three three-pointers over the first three quarters. However, the Eagles’ deep shot came in clutch in the fourth quarter. Two three-pointers by Stafford Smith and one by Ryan Hollwedel helped propel Centennial to victory in the dramatic final eight minutes.
Both teams had trouble scoring in the paint all night thanks to solid defensive performances by both squads.
Stafford Smith led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, followed by Brandon Bonner and Cameron Berkeley with 11. Carson Dick finished with a team-high 21 points for Glenelg.
Centennial improved to 7-4 overall and 6-1 in county with their win over Glenelg. The Eagles will look for their fourth straight win on Wednesday at home versus River Hill.
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