Ailing Centennial stays unbeaten, 60-50 Victory at Oakland Mills is rare coup for Eagles, who push record to 19-0

Boys basketball

February 12, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

If ever a team was ripe for an upset, it was Centennial.

The Eagles (19-0 overall, 15-0 league) trailed Oakland Mills yesterday until the third quarter, when Brian Otten and his teammates showed why they are still undefeated and fifth-ranked in the area by pulling out a 60-50 victory.

"I was worried a little before the game, but I thought that in the end we'd pull it out," said Otten, who scored 16 points -- six in the third quarter and eight more in the fourth quarter. He also had six rebounds.

Otten, playing only his third game after losing 15 pounds and missing three games because of mononucleosis, was one of three Centennial starters not 100 percent physically.

Centennial point guard Scott Bross missed practice Monday and sat out the first seven minutes yesterday because of an injury to the ball of his foot. Still, he contributed seven points. Otten replaced him at point guard in the first quarter.

"I couldn't jump to take layups," said Bross, who passed off several times instead of taking obvious shooting opportunities.

Eagles forward Denny Chapman, who also missed Monday's practice due to a 103-degree fever, contributed seven points and five rebounds despite still having fever and the index finger on his left hand bandaged. He suspects the finger may be fractured.

But the biggest dent in Centennial's lineup was the absence of center Matt Laycock, the team's leading scorer (19.2) and rebounder (8.5), who is in San Diego at a U.S. under-18 national team soccer tryout.

What won the game for the Eagles was their depth at guard and their balanced scoring. The Eagles played with four guards much of the game.

Guards Chip Harrison and Aaron Williams proved once again that they are quality players, scoring 12 and 14 points, respectively.

"They may have the better front court, so we beat them with our guards," Harrison said.

"They tried to play man-for-man against our four guards and they didn't match up very well," Bross said. "We were too quick. "They hurt us on their offensive boards in the first half, but in the second half we boxed out better."

The victory was especially sweet for Otten, because Centennial had never won at Oakland Mills during his career.

"We went 18-1 on junior varsity our freshman year and the loss was here," Otten said.

It was also a sweet win for Bross, a three-sport athlete who said it was his first win at Oakland Mills in football, lacrosse or basketball.

Oakland Mills (10-9, 9-6) is 1-3 since shooting guard Fardan Carter quit the team Jan. 29.

"They really don't have a go-to guy without Fardan," Bross said.

Pub Date: 2/12/97

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