By Kajan Thiruthanikasalam, Photos by Yvano Antonio courtesy Colts Marketing
Talk about a bounce back start to the season for both the Centennial Colts women’s and men’s varsity basketball teams! The basketball program is on the come-up this season as both basketball teams have winning records heading into the start of the second semester.
The Colts men have enjoyed a scorching start to the season, with a 7-3 record. In a team with only four players returning from the previous season, the Colts coaching staff has done a remarkable job so far in integrating the rookies and transfer athletes seamlessly.
Co-captains, Marko Curic and Paul Walwyn, have been key in keeping the young Colts grounded and hungry. Curic leads the team in points (18.9), rebounds (9.1), and blocks (2.1) per game while Walwyn, also known as LC, has provided Centennial with a steadying influence and solid production with 13.9 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Josh Mcfarlene, a transfer student athlete from Seneca College, is making a statement in his first season in Centennial, leading the team in assists (7.4) and steals (3.6) per game.
Trevor Challenger is in his first year as the head coach of the Centennial men and has led the Colts to more wins in the first half of the season than last season alone (6-14). Assistant coaches Chris Stewart, John Clara, Javaughan Davis, and Yoosrie Salhia have also been instrumental in player development and making sure the team’s rebuild is going quicker than expected.
Bigger things are expected for the Colts men as they head into the second half of the season with Centennial set to host this year’s OCAA championship.
Add the Colts women’s varsity basketball team to a list of Centennial teams that have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround from last season as they ended the first half with a 5-4 record, which is more than the amount of wins they had last season (4-10).
The entire coaching staff have returned from last season with Justin Bobb in his second year as head coach and Ryan McNeilly, Kadeja Hughes, and Tameka Blackwood as assistant coaches. Like the Centennial men, the Colts women has a new roster, with four players back from the previous season, and the coaching staff deserves a ton of credit for turning the team around quickly.
Rookie forward Yasmeen Smith is a revelation for the Colts, averaging a double-double and leading the team in points and rebounds with 14.4 ppg and 11.3 rpg. Veteran forward Kayla Higgins currently leads the Centennial women in steals (3) and blocks (0.9) per game while sophomore guard Ana Casado paces the team in assists per game (3.1).
Although the team is losing its starting point guard (Casado) because of graduation, this resilient Colts team will not back down.
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