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Basketball: Centennial squads sweep Wolverines
Hansbrough's 3-pointers lift Knights
Centennial’s Haley McKay is trapped between West Forsyth’s Erika Cross, left, and Jasmine Rodriguez during their game on Friday at West Forsyth. - photo by Autumn Vetter

Three-pointers were falling all night for Centennial.

The Knights were 9-of-14 from behind the arc for 64 percent to knock off the Wolverines 60-43 on Friday at West Forsyth High School.

"They got a little hot and hit a bunch of 3s tonight" West head coach Jim Cook said. "There was a stretch in the second quarter where we turned the ball over six out of nine or 10 possessions, and when you’re playing a team like that, you just can’t do that. They’re a good basketball club and they’ll make you pay for the mistakes when you turn the ball over that many times."

Sophomore Tre Hansbrough connected on five 3-pointers and led Centennial with 15 points, while Jimmy Staiti paced the Wolverines (0-7 Region 6B-AAAAAA) with 15 points and brother Nick Staiti added 13.

Centennial (7-1) led 16-11 to end the first quarter, but extended its lead with a 20-6 run in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 19-point advantage.

Neither team was able to make a run in the third quarter, but the Knights held a 49-30 lead to start the fourth quarter. West was 10-for-27 from the field in the second half and never could get the score under 10. The Knights led by 20 midway through the fourth quarter and easily coasted to victory.

"We have to do a better job at recognizing where shooters are and getting a hand in [their] face," Cook said. "Once we do that, then we can take the next step and get a little better.

"I think some of [our problem] is that we’re still learning and growing as a team. We’re still learning what it is to compete, compete on every possession in a very, very tough region. Once we start to put 32 minutes of ball together, then we can hopefully take the next step."

West was scheduled to play North Springs on Saturday before traveling to face Lambert on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Centennial (girls) 60, West Forsyth 27

West Forsyth was without leading scorer Jenna Staiti, who suffered an ankle injury prior to the game — and it showed.

Centennial had five players score nine or more points to earn a 60-27 Region 6-AAAAAA victory and held West to its third-lowest offensive performance of the season at West Forsyth High School on Friday.

"We didn’t do a good job defensively in the first quarter," West head coach David May said. "We gave up [21] points in the first quarter. …You got to come out ready to play. You give out 20 points a quarter and you’ll have a hard time winning any game."

The Lady Knights (13-3, 6-2) jumped out to a 14-3 lead before ending the first quarter shooting 8-of-14 and ahead 21-7. West improved its defensive effort in the second quarter, but only managed two points in the period with a shot in the lane from Mary Henner to trail 30-9 at the half.

Henner scored all but three points in the first half for the Lady Wolverines (5-12, 1-7), while the rest of the team struggled from the field to shoot 1-of-16.

Centennial’s Elizabeth Veringa led all scorers with 13 points, while teammates Chelsea Reese and Jillah Moede both scored 10. Henner led West with 10 points.

"They are a very solid team," May said. "They got shooters and a solid post player. They play well defensively and play well together, so they’re a very good team. They’ve got some athletes and we didn’t match up with them as well as we wanted to starting out. Sometimes you just play a team that’s better than you, and right now, I think that’s what they are."

The Lady Knights came out strong in the third quarter with a 10-3 run and coasted to a 49-18 lead to start the fourth quarter. Centennial continued to pour it on and led by 36 in the final minutes of regulation before pulling out the win.

Even with the tough loss, May found some positive aspects from the game that he hopes will carry over into the second half of the season.

"We’ll bounce back," May said. "The girls are resilient; it’s a good group of girls. They know where we are at and they know that we have to work hard every single day to get better, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

"We saw good things tonight out of some people that we haven’t seen in a few weeks, so we have to build on those few spots that were good and take that into next week."

West was scheduled to play North Springs on Saturday before traveling to face Lambert on Tuesday at 6 p.m.