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Centennial girls roll Coronado in Southern title game — PHOTOS

Updated February 17, 2023 - 10:22 pm

Karen Weitz struggled to identify anything positive about the way Centennial’s girls basketball team played Friday night against Coronado in the Class 5A Southern League championship game.

Besides the result — a 64-27 victory that demonstrated the program’s dominance.

“Everyone’s still going to say, ‘Oh, you won by 40,” the longtime Bulldogs coach said. “(But) I don’t know what clicked tonight.”

Even on an off night, Centennial (22-1) remained excellent, cruising to yet another resounding victory despite some atypical struggles. The Bulldogs committed 19 turnovers, including nine during a first quarter after which they led 8-7.

Coronado (20-8) played Centennial even through the first 12 minutes, eventually bending to the Bulldogs’ superior depth and talent.

The Cougars still qualify for next week’s 5A state tournament, which the Bulldogs will attempt to win for the eighth consecutive season. The state semifinals are Feb. 24 at Cox Pavilion against Northern League teams to be determined.

Sophomore forward Ayla Williams led Centennial with 12 points, and senior forward Charlece Ohiaeri scored eight of her nine points in the second quarter. Guards Kaniya Boyd, Danae Powell and Jada Price supplied eight points apiece, illustrating the merit of the depth the Bulldogs possess.

“We were able to throw numbers at them again, and I know their bench isn’t as deep as ours,” Weitz said. “We went on a couple runs, which is going to happen if you’re throwing numbers at people, because eventually you’re going to find that little stagnant part of the game. You have some fresh legs that can get you some buckets and some stops.”

The Cougars employed a hybrid zone defense to stymie the Bulldogs in the early going, clogging the paint to discourage dribble penetration and leading to several turnovers. They too struggled to score in the face of Centennial’s relentless man-to-man pressure defense, but still scrapped their way to a 14-all tie midway through the second quarter.

Weitz countered with a lineup composed of four shooters around Williams, who overpowered single coverage in the low post. The Bulldogs embarked on a 15-2 run en route to a 29-15 halftime lead.

“Everything we’ve been working on (defensively) wasn’t executed to a T,” Weitz said. “But when it was executed correctly, we got some good stops.”

That said, she expects the Bulldogs to be sharper come tournament time next week.

“We spend a lot of time practicing things correctly, and when you just go out there and act like you haven’t been practicing, it’s frustrating,” Weitz said.

Jaila Childress and Kaylee Walters scored six apiece to pace Coronado.


Class 3A

— No. 1D Moapa Valley 26, No. 1M Pahrump Valley 20 — At Pahrump Valley, the Pirates held the Trojans scoreless in the first quarter and hung on to win the Southern Region title. Both teams advance to the state tournament.

Class 2A

— No. 1 Democracy Prep 72, No. 5 Lake Mead 33 — At The Meadows, the Blue Knights (24-3) rolled past the Eagles (14-9) in a Southern League semifinal. Democracy Prep will play Needles in the championship game at noon Saturday at The Meadows.

— No. 2 Needles 52, No. 3 The Meadows 32 — At The Meadows, Needles (22-8) rolled to a victory in the other semifinal.

Class 1A

— No. 1 Green Valley Christian 38, No. 2 Beaver Dam 31 — At Sandy Valley, the Guardians (14-10) edged the Diamondbacks (5-9) to win the South League championship. Both teams advance to the state tournament.


Class 3A

— No. 1M SLAM Nevada 45, No. 2D Virgin Valley 42 — At SLAM Nevada, the Bulls (24-2) edged the Bulldogs (16-12) in a Southern Region semifinal. SLAM Nevada will host Somerset-Losee for the championship Saturday.

— No. 1D Somerset-Losee 60, No. 2M Boulder City 45 — At Somerset-Losee, the Lions (21-3) defeated the Eagles (17-10) in the other semifinal game.

Class 2A

— No. 1 The Meadows 73, No. 4 Lake Mead 56 — At The Meadows, the Mustangs (21-4) beat the Eagles (19-8) in the Southern League semifinals. The Meadows will host Democracy Prep in the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday.

— No. 2 Democracy Prep 69, No. 3 Needles 61 — At The Meadows, the Blue Knights (20-7) held off the Mustangs (14-10) to win the other semifinal.

Class 1A

— No. 1 Green Valley Christian 65, No. 3 Sandy Valley 36 — At Sandy Valley, the Guardians (19-9) defeated the Sidewinders (10-8) to win the South League championship. Both teams advance to the state tournament.

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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