Coach’s early alert awakens Bulldogs

Barely three minutes into the game at Palo Verde on Friday, Centennial coach Karen Weitz slammed her clipboard to the floor and called timeout.

Just that quickly, Weitz was unhappy with the Bulldogs’ mental focus against their Northwest League rival.

Weitz’s speech must have gotten through. Centennial responded quickly after the timeout, scoring five straight baskets and never looking back in a 90-38 victory.

Despite the hefty margin, it wasn’t the Bulldogs’ best performance, but Centennial did more than enough to earn its 24th consecutive league win.

"We did some good things, and at times we had lapses," Weitz said. "However, I’m proud that the things we needed to improve on after watching film, we did execute."

The Bulldogs led by 17 after the first quarter, 32 at halftime and 69-27 after three periods.

Though Centennial took a 6-2 lead after baskets by Deanna Daniels, Johnna Brown and Alexis Byrd, Weitz became concerned after her team committed two offensive fouls and two bad passes.

Highlighted by a Courtney Hayes 3-pointer, the Bulldogs (17-2, 4-0 Northwest) scored 11 straight points out of the timeout and coasted.

Brown, averaging 23 points in her last four games, led the Bulldogs with 24 and sat out most of the fourth quarter.

Byrd followed with 19 points. Daniels supplied 18 and Hayes 16.

Centennial made 27 of 40 free throws, compared with Palo Verde’s 5 of 12.

Jasmin Kiley, scoreless in the first quarter, led the Panthers (6-5, 2-1) with 11.

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