Defense boosts Centennial

Eagles top Atholton, 56-45, close in on county crown

Boys basketball

High Schools

February 11, 2005|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Centennial doesn't create much highlight reel material on offense. But the Eagles sure can play defense.

In a must-win game on its home floor last night, Centennial held Atholton to six baskets in the second half, including two in the fourth quarter, and broke open a close game in the final two minutes to win, 56-45.

Centennial avenged an earlier 15-point loss to Atholton.

With three games to play, the Eagles (15-3 overall, 14-2 league) have only Long Reach to fear as an obstacle to a Howard County championship. Atholton (11-7, 11-5) virtually dropped out of the race with its loss.

Chris Moore, Centennial's 6-foot-6 center, scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked six shots and had three steals, and teammate Rick Anderson scored 16 points.

"Atholton has at least five great shooters and we had to get out on them," said Eagles coach Jim Hill.

The Raiders didn't have a scorer in double figures.

"Centennial doesn't beat itself," said Atholton coach Jim Albert. "They played consistently throughout the game, and turnovers killed us in critical situations."

Centennial was leading only 44-40 when Anderson converted a three-point play with 1:55 left in the game. He also added a fast-break layup to put the Raiders away for good.

"Defensively, this was my best game," Moore said. "We kept them away from the basket."

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