In a script that played out very similar to the team’s overtime victory over Atholton to open the season, Centennial erased a large second-half deficit Friday evening against Mt. Hebron on its way to forcing overtime and eventually pulling out a 54-42 win.
The Eagles, after trailing for the entire second and third quarters, found life down the stretch behind the play of Tom Brown (15 points), Isaiah White (14), Chad Strothers (11) and Chase Conley (8). And, by the time the game went to overtime, Centennial (3-1, 3-1) was clicking on all cylinders.
In the overtime period, Centennial outscored Mt. Hebron (2-2, 3-2) by a 14-2 margin.
“With this group of guys, I just feel like when they are working for each other, we are going to be in every game we play,” Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel said. “We still have our struggles and things we need to work on, but as people keep coming up to me and telling me, these kids have so much heart. For that, I couldn’t be more proud.”
Mt. Hebron was led all night by David Herlihy (19 points, 11 rebounds), but particularly in crunch time. The Vikings’ big man accounted for all 10 points that his team scored in the fourth quarter and overtime.
But Centennial, which trailed by as many as six points in the third quarter, ramped things up defensively as the game went on to shut off everyone else.
“They were doing such a good job of playing Herlihy and (Mike) Duan off each other and we struggled with keeping him away from the basket for most of the night,” Hollwedel said. “But as we started to pressure up on the passers, we took away those easy interior passes and started getting more stops.”
Centennial took its first lead of the second half on a 3-pointer by Conley with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter. The game then saw three lead changes and three ties over the final minutes of regulation before ending up tied at 40.
Come overtime, though, Centennial came out with back-to-back baskets by White and Strothers and never looked back.
“Coach told us to stay calm, run our stuff and not force anything. But when the shot was there, to take it,” White said. “I think we got ourselves some real good looks in the fourth quarter and overtime.”
After losing to River Hill a day earlier, White added that it was great to get right back in the win column.
“We never got our confidence down and that was really important,” he said. “Hopefully this builds us some momentum going into Oakland Mills on Monday.”
Centennial 54, Mt. Hebron 42
C (3-1, 3-1): Brown 15, White 14, Strothers 11, Conley 8, Wilkin 4, Fletcher 2.
MH (2-2, 3-2): Herlihy 19, Andreas 9, Maloney 8, M. Smith 2, A. Smith 2, Duan 2.
Half: 20-16 MH. End of Regulation: 40-40.
Long Reach 63, Wilde Lake 55
Shane Barr scored a team-high 23 points and Kevin Duckett added 19 points off the bench, as the Lightning earned an eight-point victory on the road.
“We shook it up a little bit with the line-up and the kids really responded,” Long Reach coach Al Moraz Jr. said. “The sophomore kids really stepped up for us and Shane is on a nice roll with 20 plus points in each of the last three games.”