By: Teru Ikeda and Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
SCARBOROUGH, ONT. - The men's team were in a slump as of late, dropping two straight on the road to the Georgian Grizzlies and Canadore Panthers, but wanted to end that losing streak in a big way on Saturday night in the primetime matchup against the OCAA East's best team in the George Brown Huskies, who were 6-1.
A poor first quarter on the defensive end from the home side, however, proved to be the difference in the game as Centennial (3-3) lost its third straight game with a 67-60 defeat in the hands of the Huskies (6-1) at a packed Athletic and Wellness Centre.
Kyrin Henlin led all players with 25 points, providing timely scoring and jaw-dropping highlights throughout the night; he also led Centennial with four steals. Isaiah Cromwell-Wright rebounded from a slow start and scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and had game highs in assists (four) and blocks (three). But those two were the only Colts that scored in double figures.
"Our offence is still building," Trevor Challenger, Colts Head Coach, said. "We're working on easy scores and counter plays so (that) we're not playing like robots.
Balanced scoring tipped the game in the Huskies' favour as Liban Mohamed led the way with 16 points on four triples and also dished out four assists. Adam Costanzo had 15, Kevon Guiseppi-Mascoe scored 14, and Kingslee D'Silva had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Chris Fields was a pest in spite of foul trouble with a game high six steals for George Brown while Edose Etomi's rim protection, despite playing out of position, was on full display as he blocked D'Silva twice at the rim in the first half.
"Edose had a very impressive offseason; he increased his strength and worked on his all around game," Challenger said, noting that Etomi needs to work on his offensive game as the season progresses. "He's playing with confidence right now, he plays hard, and (is) always receptive to criticism."
Both teams shot around 31 per cent from the field but three more made field goals and an 18-6 edge from behind the arc turned the tide over in George Brown's favour. The visitors also held the edge in assists (18-13), points in the paint (32-26), and second chance points (19-12).
Rebounding was even at 61 for both teams while Centennial held a 14-11 edge at the free throw line.
Centennial sprinted out of the gates to start off the game with eight straight points, highlighted by a three point play from Cromwell-Wright and a massive block at the rim from Etomi on D'Silva.
But the rest of the first quarter was all George Brown as they hit five triples and closed out the quarter on a 29-3 run as they led 29-11 after one. Liban Mohamed outscored the Colts by himself in the quarter, with 12 on 80 per cent (4-5) from behind the arc.
Consecutive turnovers gave Centennial a glimmer of hope as they scored four fastbreak points to open up the second quarter. But the Huskies kept them at bay not giving up an inch of the lead as they were up, 42-23, at the half.
Henlin, however, left his imprint in the second quarter as he threw down a thunderous left handed slam in the halfcourt to get the home crowd going as Costanzo made a smart business decision to get out of the way.
Centennial's play on both ends came alive to start the second half as they went off on 15-2 run to cut the lead to six (44-38); Henlin scored 10 points during that span as the Colts forced George Brown into 26.7 per cent shooting (4-15) and nine turnovers in the third quarter.
However, the Colts committed eight turnovers of their own and the Huskies closed out the third on an 8-0 run to take a 52-38 lead heading into the final frame.
George Brown kept them at arm's length for most of that fourth quarter, going up by 17 late before a 13-3 run from the Colts ended the game.
"At halftime, we made corrections and counters to our team defence; there was better energy and effort in the second half," Challenger said of Centennial limiting the Huskies to 25 points in the second half with no triples allowed. "When our guys lock in and pride themselves on making stops, we're tough to beat."
CATCH OUR NEXT GAME
The Colts look to break this losing streak as they head out on a two-game road trip over the weekend, starting with a clash on Friday Nov. 23 at 6:00 pm in Kingston, Ont., against the St. Lawrence Vikings followed with a trip to Belleville the next day at 3:00 pm against the Loyalist Lancers.
"Both SLC and Loyalist are tough at home," Challenger said. "We need to be ready for a battle and compete."