Varsity basketball is underway for the Centennial Colts Men and Women as both teams looked to start off strong following disappointing seasons.
By: Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
The Colts Men’s Basketball Team is off to a strong start this season. Through six games they are 5-1. After a season opening loss to the St. Lawrence (Kingston) Vikings, 72-65, Centennial followed up with five straight wins, starting with a road win against the Loyalist Lancers, 91-81, followed by a perfect home stand with double digit victories over the Fleming Knights (89-54), Alqonquin Thunder (83-66), and La Cite Coyotes (75-53).
Team captain and forward Marko Curic currently leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 20.6 ppg and 8.4 rpg, while point guard Josh Mcfarlene leads the team in assists (8.0 apg) and steals (4.6 spg).
For Trevor Challenger, this is his first year as Centennial’s men’s varsity basketball head coach, as he is taking over a Colts team that finished 6-14 last season and with only four players coming back from the previous season (Paul Walwyn, Malique Hyde, Marko Curic, Alex Hagoriles). So far, the Colts have been rolling and will try to continue their winning streak in the coming weeks ahead.
The Colts Women’s Basketball Team is off to a solid start, coming off a season in which they finished 4-10. Guard Ana Casado Simon-Talero, forward Aliyah Campbell-East, and forward Michelle Beloso are returning from last year’s team to lead a young team through a new season. Forward Kayla Higgins returns to the Colts after two previous years with the team.
Centennial opened the new season on the road, going 1-2, with a season opening loss to the St. Lawrence (K) Vikings (77-58), followed by a 25-point blowout of the Loyalist Lancers (64-39), and then losing to the Seneca Sting, 60-44. The Colts women then had their home opener against the Alqonquin Thunder on Nov. 5, and won in a nailbiter, 64-61. After an 87-78 loss at George Brown on Nov. 12, they are now 2-3.
Rookie forward Yasmeen Smith leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 12.7 ppg and 12.3 rpg, while just being announced as the Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Week on Nov. 8. Smith led the Colts with 15 points and 12 rebounds for their first win over Alqonquin at home since the Colts program was relaunched eight years ago. Sophomore Simon-Talero leads the team in passing with 3.3 apg and in steals with 2.3 spg.
The coaching staff remains unchanged from last season, with Justin Bobb as head coach, and Ryan McNeilly, Tameka Blackwood, and Kadeja Hughes as assistant coaches.
The Lady Colts look to continue their momentum from their home opener in the upcoming games ahead.
Videos courtesy Colts Marketing