Omari Ringgold and Centennial are getting hot at the right time. The senior forward dropped in 28 points, the second time he’s reached that number in the last three games, and the Eagles earned a 67-57 victory over visiting Glenelg on senior night Friday. The win was the third straight for Centennial (12-7, 14-8) heading into the playoffs, scheduled to begin Feb. 26.
“You can see the kids confidence right now is getting stronger,” Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel said. “It’s a little different look for us entering the playoffs than it has been the past couple years, where we were one of the top seeds, but we are really starting to come together. We’re doing the little things better.”
Glenelg (9-10, 10-12) was playing without two of its top five scorers, Nick Oates and Dom Napolitano, yet made Centennial work for everything it got.
The Gladiators held an 8-7 lead after the first quarter, holding Centennial to 2-16 shooting from the floor in the period.
“They did a good job of mixing things up defensively, really throwing a lot of different things at us, and it took us a little while to adjust to that,” Hollwedel said.
Things got slightly better for the Eagles in the second quarter, rebounding to take a 22-21 lead into the half. But it was in the third quarter that Centennial really made its move, extending its advantage to double-digits thanks to outscoring the Gladiators, 21-9, in the period.
Ringgold played a big part in breaking things open, exploding after scoring just six points in the first half.
“Glenelg really focused on taking him away in the first half,” Hollwedel said. “They went to a box-and-1, face-guarded him coming across half court, and in the second half we did a much better job of staying patient in our half-court sets to get him the ball a little more.”
Glenelg, which was led by Matt Livak (14 points) and Colin Randle (13), never got closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.
In addition to Ringgold, Centennial also got strong games from Kendall DeVries (10 points) and Timi Tinuoye (8).
Centennial 67, Glenelg 57
C (12-7, 14-8): Fletcher 5, Conley 3, Ringgold 28, Devries 10, Eads 6, Strothers 7, Tinuoye 8.
G (9-10, 10-12): Abu 10, Randle 13, Helensky 10, Haussler 5, Livak 14, Van de Wall 5.
Half: 22-21 C.