As the second half of the college basketball season got underway, both the men and women’s basketball teams didn’t skip a beat.
Centennial’s men’s basketball team played rugged basketball in January. They dropped their first game to George Brown on January 9th by a mere 3 points in a 69-66 outcome, yet bounced back in their next two games against Durham and Cambrian College. Centennial would go on to shatter those teams by a combined 50 point margin.
In Centennial’s latest game against Cambrian College on Saturday, January 19th, the Colts would play impeccable defense leading to 23 team steals, a season-high. Reigning East Division Defensive Player of the Year, Natiel McKenzie, led the Colts in that category, stealing the ball 8 times from Cambrian’s offense, which was his season high.
“I try and read the off-ball,” McKenzie explains the art of a steal. “Watch the guy who has the ball while watching where my guy is.”
The Colts played stellar defense but also made Cambrian adapt to their offensive tempo. Both sides of the ball were being regulated by the Colts.
“If we play good defense, than we get our transition offense going from that,” breaks down Coach Jim Barclay. “We’re so athletic, we get stops which lead to transition and that’s how we play.”
The men stand at 11 wins and 2 losses this season, good for second in their division.
The Lady Colts also have had success of their own, winning all three games so far in January.
Currently holding a four-game winning streak, the women’s basketball team is coming off a 13 point win against Cambrian on January 19th. The women dug a small hole in the first quarter, but bounced back in the second and third quarters after applying an impeccable full-court press on defense.
“They were running a fast game so we were trying to slow them down,” Colts forward Denise Dunn explains the defensive strategy. “After we put pressure on, they started to throw the ball away.”
The Lady Colts hold a tie for fourth with Seneca College in the standings. Top four teams make the OCAA playoffs.
Centennial’s Men’s and Women’s next games at Progress Campus
Friday, Feb. 1st against St. Lawrence
Wednesday, Feb. 6th against Fleming
Women’s game starts at 6:00 p.m. while men tip off at 8:00 p.m.