After starting the season with six straight games scoring in double figures, Centennial's leading scorer Anna Mitchell has finished with less than 10 points in each of the past three contests.
So the sophomore forward asserted herself on the offensive boards and knew the points would follow. Mitchell finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds to help push the Eagles to a 54-29 victory over Hammond on Friday night.
“My favorite thing is to rebound and I love finishing (in the paint),” Mitchell said. “I’m happy with how I did under the basket tonight but I could have done better boxing out.”
For much of the first quarter, the Golden Bears went toe-to-toe with Centennial. A jumper by Cambria Conley cut Hammond’s deficit to 8-5 with 3 minutes, 20 seconds left in the quarter.
But the Eagles (4-7, 5-9) closed the frame on an 11-3 run, including three straight buckets inside from Mitchell to go ahead, 19-8, after one quarter.
Centennial stretched the lead to 22 at halftime and put the game out of reach when it started the third quarter with eight straight points. Mitchell had three buckets in the paint and Alicia Hsieh added a fast break layup.
“We played a little sloppy with a lot of turnovers but I’m happy with how we played, especially after having this week off,” Mitchell said.
Senior guard Andrea Baker led the Golden Bears (0-11, 0-11) with 10 points.
Hammond hit the glass hard as a team and held a 34-24 advantage in that department. Christina Asare grabbed eight offense rebounds and finished with 10 total, while Jameelah Wallace added eight boards.
But coach Mona Reid felt that her team played a bit too timid after the early going.
“I think that they are really scared to take chances,” Reid said. “They have to realize that basketball is a game of mistakes. You have to go hard because you can't do anything in basketball half way. They have the skill and can do it but they've got to have confidence in themselves.”
C: A. Mitchell 11, K. Mitchell 4, M. Anderson 4, Wilson 4.
Ha: Asare 10, Wallace 8, Baker 6.
C: B. Anderson 3, Wilson 3, Albornoz 2.
Ha: Griffin 3, 4 tied with 1.