A late rally lifted the Centertown Warriors to the second round of the Warren Masonic Tournament as they overcame a first half deficit to claim a 37-33 win over the Swiss.
The visiting squad from Grundy County struck early as they pushed a fast pace in the opening period, leaving Centertown to adjust to their wide-open full court offense. The Swiss’ Kollan Cooper was hitting on all cylinders as he bucketed eight of his game-high 13 points in the first frame, leading Swiss Wildcats to a 10-4 opening quarter lead. The Swiss’ strategy of rebounding the ball and then slinging it the length of the court to a “snow bird” at the other end worked well.
However, both Cooper and the full-court strategy disappeared in the second quarter, leaving the Swiss to score only five points. Centertown did little to take advantage of the lull in scoring as they posted only seven second-quarter points, led by Brant Young who bucketed three of his game-high eight points in the second stanza. Centertown trailed 15-11 at the end of the first half.
The third quarter belonged to Centertown’s Damien Thomas who helped wrestle the Warriors back into the game.
Thomas came alive with 11 points in the third on the way to lead all scorers with 17. His barrage along with five points from Brant Young helped the Warriors outscore the Wildcats 16-9 in the third.
Centertown enjoyed a 27-24 lead going into the final quarter, a quarter that saw the Warriors win the game at the charity stripe. Thomas and Jax McBride combined to go a perfect six-for-six from the line in the fourth, with Thomas inking four of the number. Cooper was able to score five, including a three-pointer but it was not enough to bring the Swiss back from the third-quarter Damien Thomas onslaught.
The win advanced Centertown in the winner’s bracket of the seventh-and eighth-grade tourney.