Centennial Spartans clinch first and remain unbeaten
GUELPH – The Centennial Spartans clinched a first-place finish and stayed undefeated in District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball play Tuesday with a 79-63 victory over the second-place Ross Royals.
“I’m real pleased with the effort the guys are giving,” Centennial coach Rob Conroy said. “They play hard every game, but it’s one game at a time.”
“Mainly we just wanted to come out and show that we can play against anybody,” Centennial’s Cameron Powell said. “Just being our team together and playing as one, that’s our main goal. We’re looking ahead in the season, but today we didn’t want to overlook so it was a good win today.”
The win leaves the Spartans perfect in league play with 13 wins in 13 outings and it leaves a Thursday game against the third-place Lourdes Crusaders (9-3) at Lourdes standing in the way of an undefeated regular season. Some of the Crusaders were in Centennial’s gym Tuesday to check out the game. Ross is second at 10-3.
“At this point, we’re just going to play the last game of the season and see what happens,” Conroy said.
“We don’t want to look over any game so we take any game as important as any other game,” Powell said. “We just want to keep winning.”
If Centennial wins Thursday, it’ll be the first undefeated season by a senior team since the Bishop Macdonell Celtics accomplished the feat in the 2015-16 season.
Lourdes has a game Wednesday against Bishop Mac (3-9) that was postponed a day because of Tuesday’s Catholic teachers’ strike in town.
Tuesday, the Spartans led the Royals 24-17 at the end of the first quarter, 45-31 at halftime and 63-45 after the third quarter.
Jackson Wallace led Centennial with 26 points while Powell had 22 and Kai Clarke, Jack Viveiros and Sebsatian Harman-Den Hoed each had nine.
Gatlang Puot topped the scoresheet for Ross with 19 points while Malcolm Bair added 18 and Cole Miller contributed 10.
Centennial and Ross could meet again in the league playoffs so both teams likely learned things they can use in their next meeting.
“I learned that if we play well and hard, we can beat them — we can beat anybody in the league,” Conroy said. “We’ve got to bring it every game. Ross plays hard and Bill Price has always done a good job. His guys come to play.”
“Playing against any team we just learn some things that they do during the game and we can use that going forward,” Powell said. “Mostly, we just have to keep to ourselves and not engage in anything because things get chippy once in a while on the court.”
The game was the first for both since the two-week exam break and neither showed any rust from the layoff.
“We practised throughout the whole thing and we went down and played Pickering High School which is a perennial powerhouse,” Conroy said. “We went down there and played them last week and had a good game and beat them. It was a good experience for us.”
“We played in Pickering on Thursday and that was a good win, too,” Powell said. “That was a really physical game so that got us tougher. It was good to play that.”
This year the playoffs are not a hectic one-week affair. The quarter-finals are set for Feb. 13 with the semifinals to go Feb. 20 and the championship match slated for Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. at the University of Guelph.
Guelph CVI 72 Orangeville 61
Aidan Carroll led GCVI with 31 points while Rylan Ninaber had 19.
Brayden Cooke collected 17 for Orangeville while Keelan Steele had 14 and Brandon Hughes had 11.
Orangeville 101 Guelph CVI 27
Gregor Lawson connected for 25 points for Orangeville while Ewan Steele had 23 and Landon Montague netted 15.
- Guelph Sports Journal