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CENTRAL HIGH —
The Central High girls basketball team only had the lead for less than a minute in its game at home against Fletcher on Tuesday.
Turns out that’s all it needed to capture the first victory of the season. The Bronchos (1-3) took the lead 35-34 and held on the defensive end to capture the victory by the same scoreline. Senior Faith Harris was everything and more for the team scoring 22 points. It was the common excellence that coach Chad Weldon had become to expect out of his team’s leading scorer.
“She’s a special girl,” Weldon said. “If Faith amazed me, she would score 45 points.”
Trailing 30-20 entering the final period, the Bronchos came out on fire in the fourth quarter and used the momentum to score in bunches. Harris thought that intensity was a big part of the win.
“We got to three points down, and we knew we had to win the game,” Harris said. “The first quarter we were just slacking. Then in the second quarter, we said we knew we could do it.”
A large deficit in the first quarter, 18-7, doomed the Central High boys team. It ended up losing for the first time this season 56-40. A big problem was the 19-6 differential in fouls. It cost the Bronchos (3-1) late as seniors Kevin Harris, John Repp and Zarek Hickman all fouled out. Still, coach John Nease said it was the execution on the offensive end that hurt the team the most.
“Yeah, I would have liked a few of the fouls that went the other way, but it came down to us missing shots that we should have hit,” Nease said. “We’re a momentum team. I’ve known that from day one. When we have the momentum, we can make it work in our advantage in a great way.”
The team just couldn’t get past that threshold of sustaining the momentum, Nease added. Fletcher center Landon Beathard played a large role in that. He led the team with 22 points, and caused problems throughout the night in the paint.
“He ate away at us,” Nease said. “I’ve known that height is going to be a disadvantage for us. One thing about their post-play is he plays a lot bigger than he is.”
The Bronchos will prepare to guard an even bigger postman than Beathard plays like as Comanche senior six-foot 10-inch center Jacob Hammond comes to Central High on Friday. Knowing that the six-foot one-inch Repp is likely his best defensive option, Nease sees the height advantage will be even more against him.
“We’ve got to play our odds, but it’s one of those things where we have nothing to lose,” Nease said.