By: Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
SCARBOROUGH, ONT. - If this game between the Centennial Colts and St. Lawrence Vikings lasted just three quarters, the home team would have come away with a victory.
Unfortunately, four quarters matter in basketball and the fourth was when things went awry for Centennial as they were outscored, 23-13, and fell 69-66 to St. Lawrence at the Athletic and Wellness Centre as they wrapped up their four-game homestand.
Both teams started off slow offensively with each team shooting under 35 per cent in the first quarter. The Vikings, led by Mohamed Omar's five first quarter points, were up 17-15 after one. Ian Francis and Khaleel Sutherland each had six for the Colts in the opening frame.
The second quarter was a lot better offensively for Centennial as they shot 52.6 per cent (10-19) from the field, led by Kyrin Henlin's nine points. The Colts led by 11 with two seconds left but an unlikely triple from Sleiddy Gernold Joseph at the buzzer cut Centennial's lead to 38-30 at the half.
Centennial went cold to start the second half and St. Lawrence took full advantage, opening the third quarter on a 11-2 run and took a brief lead after an and-one layup from Arnaud Tresor Ciza at 41-40. However, the Colts scored the next nine points and eventually took a 53-46 lead, heading into the final quarter.
After a pair of free throws from Darnell Richards to put the Colts up 59-52, the Vikings then began to take control, going on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 59 on a triple from Tom Withey and a pair of layups from Joseph. This forced a frustrated Trevor Challenger to call for time with 4:25 to go in the game.
The game was tied at 61 with two minutes to go when Braydon Corderio was left wide open and he made the Colts pay by hitting a triple; however, Sutherland responded with an and-one layup but missed the free throw. Centennial then had a pair of opportunities at the rim to take the lead but failed to convert on either of them and Corderio nailed another three to extend the Vikings' lead to four.
Brooks then hit a huge triple to cut the lead to 67-66 with 7.1 seconds to go and a second later out of the Vikings timeout, Withey was fouled and made both free throws, forcing Centennial to call its final timeout.
The play call out of the inbounds was eerily similar to their earlier matchup against the Seneca Sting, in which Henlin hit the game winning triple. On this occasion, Henlin curled to the baseline and fired off a clean look from three.
Unfortunately, this time around, his attempt fell short and St. Lawrence headed back to Kingston with a comeback victory, leaving the Colts and their fans stunned.
BELL LET'S TALK
The men's team wore shirts in tribute to fighting for mental health, courtesy of Bell Let's Talk. Toques as well as other products were given to the fans that were in attendance during the game.
Withey led the charge at the point for the Vikings, scoring 16 of his game high 20 points in the second half and also had a team high five assists. The Vikings point guard was huge down the stretch, making all six of his free throws in the fourth quarter.
Joseph provided a huge spark off of the bench for St. Lawrence, finishing with a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) while Ciza had 11.
Henlin led Centennial with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks while Francis had 11 and Parker Brooks had 10 off of the bench.
It was a different story offensively for Centennial compared to yesterday as they shot just 34.8 per cent from the field, 26.1 per cent from three, and 60 per cent from the charity stripe.
The reserves were solid once again for the second straight day as they outscored the Vikings' bench, 35-27.
Although the Colts held the advantage in made field goals (24-21), assists (16-13), second chance points (10-2) and rebounds (38-32), St. Lawrence made two more triples (8-6) and seven more free throws (19-12) while also holding a 22-14 edge in paint points.
This marks Centennial's first loss at home when leading after three quarters.
HOW THINGS STAND FOR CENTENNIAL
Conference Record: 8-7
Overall Record: 14-13
CATCH OUR NEXT GAME
Centennial heads out on the road for four straight games, starting off on Saturday Feb. 2 at 6:00 pm against the Algonquin Thunder.