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CENTRAL HIGH —
Central High was reunited with a familiar foe in the first round of the Black Diamond tournament in Rush Springs.
Even though the Bronchos’ boys and girls basketball teams had learned a lot about Sterling when they played them to open the season, not much changed. The boys won 58-42 after winning 68-46 on Nov. 26.
It wasn’t as easy as the final score made it look. Boys coach John Nease didn’t have any expectations that the game was going to be easy.
“They knew what we wanted to do. They knew what we did well,” Nease said. “It makes it tough to beat a team multiple times.”
Nease was especially happy with the team’s ball control. Their ability to take care of the ball allowed the Bronchos to control the speed of the game. He pointed to the team’s work ethic as the foundation for success.
“Over Christmas break, we went to work,” Nease said. “We had things we needed to get better at. I’ve seen improvement in those things, what I’ve asked them to do. That’s what it takes to move on and overcome some of those obstacles.”
The main obstacle has been the loss of sophomore starting point guard Ian Hickman. Expected to run the offense, Hickman has been a spectator for most of the season with back-to-back injuries to each ankle. The latest setback is expected to have him out until at least playoff time.
In his void, seniors Kevin Harris, Zarek Hickman and John Repp stepped up for the Bronchos. Repp took off Tuesday night scoring 20 points, while consistently driving to the basket. Then Zarek hit a couple of big three-pointers to keep at least some of the attention off the bruising forward.
The Central High girls struggled for the second time against Sterling. This time the final score was 66-37, instead of the 66-33 score in November.