Words: Caleb McClatchey
The Centennial Varsity Boys’ basketball team fell to Atholton at home by a score of 58-40 in its season opener on Friday.
Centennial’s Matt Merkey scored the first point of the season, making a free throw which gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Eagles, however, that ended up being their only lead of the night. Atholton quickly answered with a 6-0 run, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Both teams played solid defense early, with only 12 total points being scored in the first quarter, but Centennial had trouble capitalizing on their possessions the whole night. Atholton’s physical and aggressive defense forced many turnovers and helped the Raiders go on another dominant run in the 2nd quarter, outscoring Centennial 13-1.
The Eagles entered halftime trailing 22-12, a large deficit but certainly not insurmountable. However, Atholton began the 2nd half hot and jumped out to a 38-16 lead, their largest of the night. Centennial battled back late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarter, going on a 14-4 run which cut Atholton’s lead to 12. The comeback attempt ended up falling short in the 4th, however, as Atholton took back control of the game and defeated Centennial 58-40.
One of the stories of the game for Centennial, besides turnovers, was Atholton’s dominance from the three-point line. While Atholton made six from beyond the arc, Centennial only managed two- both by Ryan Hollwedel late in the 2nd half.
Senior Michael Kefyalew led the Eagles in scoring with 15 points, followed by junior Joey Sedlacko with 9 and senior Cameron Berkeley with 7. For Atholton, senior Casey Parkins led the team in scoring with 26 points.
The Eagles will play Atholton again on February 1st and have a chance to avenge Friday’s loss. Last year, Centennial also began its year with a season-opening loss to Atholton but ultimately had the last laugh as Centennial eliminated Atholton in the playoffs.
Centennial’s next game is on Wednesday, December 12th at home against rival Mount Hebron.
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