Owls sharp at FT line, repel rally by Eagles Westminster wins, 54-42, over surging Centennial

Boys basketball

December 11, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Westminster, on the verge of seeing the last of what had been a 14-point lead disappear, pulled away from visiting Centennial inside the final two minutes for a 54-42 victory last night.

Centennial (1-1) was down 26-12 with less than two minutes left in the first half, and still down 12 entering the last quarter. But the Eagles drew within 44-41 on a three-point shot by Andres Conejo at 1: 50. From there, Westminster (2-1) spread its offense and the visitors, forced to foul, could only watch as the leaders made eight straight free throws (one completing a three-point play).

In that stretch, Sean Davis sank four free throws, Desmond Esteves two, and Aaron Krug and Nick Farver, one each. For the night, Krug matched his average with 16 points, backed by Davis with 12, and Esteves 11.

Centennial, which had shot well in beating C. Milton Wright last Friday, 61-48, played just the opposite this time. It was able to make it close, however, with a fourth-quarter rally.

In the last segment, Andy McShane, who had scored 24 vs. Wright, got 12 of his game-high 19 points, including a three-pointer from the top of the key that cut it to 44-41.

Two Davis foul shots made the margin four, and after the Eagles had thrown the ball away, Farver all but cemented the win when he completed a three-point play after knocking in a rebound with a minute to go.

Farver, a junior forward, played well in relief; he was active on the boards and scored nine points.

Westminster had jumped to a 13-2 lead, and the margin ranged between 14 and six until Centennial came to life for the last eight minutes. The Eagles were 7-for-25 from the field in the first half, then went scoreless the last 6: 30 of the third quarter, going 0-for-11 with two turnovers.

Until getting two late baskets, Westminster was almost as bad, missing five successive shots to go with three turnovers. For the quarter, the Owls outscored their opponents, 6-5.

"We've been playing them five or six years, and this is our first win," Owls coach Dave Byers said. "They don't quit, and then we had trouble scoring. However, I thought we did a good job defensively and hit the free throws [11-for-14 in the last quarter]."

From the other side, coach Jim Hill said, "We're a young team and we never quit. We have some players with no organized background, and some with no varsity background -- young and inexperienced."

Pub Date: 12/11/97

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