After defeating Herington on Dec. 4 and losing to Northern Heights Thursday, the Centre High School girls’ basketball team defeated Hope Saturday to finish the Herington Pre-season Tournament in third place.
The Lady Lions came out roaring, taking a 15-6 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars reversed the trend in the second quarter, outscoring Hope 15-5 on 3-pointers by Shelby Makovec and Cacey Simons, field goals by Beka Basore, Ellie Miller, and Makenzie Deines, and a free throw by Deines. Centre led, 21-20, at halftime.
The game was tied at 29 after three quarters, but Centre outscored Hope 19-12 in the fourth quarter to win the game by seven points, 48-41.
The team compiled 13 field goals, six 3-point baskets, and four of eight free throws.
Simons led scoring with 14 points, followed by Deines with 12. Basore led in rebounds with a double-digit performance.
“Our ability to rebound is what turned things around for us, as well as picking up a few turnovers with our press,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “The third-place finish was a solid performance.”
All four quarters of an exciting contest with Northern Heights Thursday ended in four-point deficits for the Lady Cougars. The final score was 54-50.
Stahlecker said it was an extremely tough and physical contest. The girls came out aggressively against a strong team, which allowed them to stay in the game and come back from large deficits several times.
After trailing most of the first quarter, they tied Heights at 15 with 1:40 remaining. A basket by Deines and a 3-pointer by Genesis Rudolph gave Centre a 15-11 lead. However, Heights came back with four straight baskets for a 19-15 lead at the end of the quarter.
Centre’s deficit grew to nine points several times in the second quarter. They were down 29-20 when a free throw by Shelby Makovec and baskets by Basore and Amy Makovec made the halftime score 31-27.
The girls came within two points, 34-32, in the third quarter, and trailed 42-38, at the end of the quarter. They trailed 49-41 in the fourth quarter but got within one point, 49-48, with 1:40 to play on a 3-point shot by Simons. Rudolph made two free throws to give Centre a 50-49 lead. However, Heights scored the final five points for the victory.
The team compiled 10 field goals, three 3-pointers and 21 of 34 free throw attempts. Centre out-rebounded Heights by a 49-31 margin. High-point scorers were Simons, 14, and Shelby Makovec, 13. Makovec provided five assists.
The Lady Cougars defeated Herington Nov. 4, 66-41. Coach Alan Stahlecker said it was their best performance of the tournament. Simons had a career-high 23 points on a 77 percent shooting performance. She was 10 of 11 from inside the arc. Deines led in rebounding with 12, also a career high. At least five girls had three assists to find the open person.
A layup by Miller and free throws by Bryanna Svoboda and Basore near the end of the first quarter gave the Lady Cougars a 15-13 lead. By halftime, they led 28-16, including a last-second basket by Simons.
Simons dominated scoring in the third quarter with 13 points. Basore, Svoboda, and Deines also contributed points as the team increased its lead to 50-27. Amy Makovec made three free throws near the end of the fourth quarter, followed by layups by Simons and Shelby Makovec for a 15-point victory.
Shelby Makovec scored 18 points including one 3-pointer and five free throws.