By KYLE OCKER
---- — CENTERVILLE — Michael Starcevich ended the night with 21 points for the Centerville Big Reds. But in the long run, a rough Big Reds defense held the Rockets down as Centerville recorded the 77-42 South Central Conference rout on Friday.
"I was really proud of our defensive effort tonight,” Centerville head basketball coach Matt Kruzich said. “We were very active and got a lot of transition baskets. I also thought our offensive execution in the half court was pretty strong. I think we’re playing the right kind of ball at the right time of the season.”
Also ending the night with double-digit scoring totals for Centerville was Garrett Faris with 16, and Brett Kauzlarich with 12. Eddyville’s Tanner Swartz led scoring on the other side of the benches with 18 points.
The win extends Centerville’s win streak to eight games as the team will end a hot month of January that pushed the Reds over the .500 mark and into contention for an upper seed for post-season play.
The Big Reds led 26-10 at the end of the first quarter. By the half, Centerville was up 51-21.
Eddyville (3-13, 0-6 in SCC) will host Chariton on Tuesday. Centerville (11-4, 6-1 in SCC) will travel to Oskaloosa on Monday for a non-conference matchup. They’ll get a shot at redemption with Chariton on the road on Friday. Chariton holds Centerville’s only conference loss so far this season.
Centerville 77, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 42
Eddyville 10 11 7 14 — 42
Centerville 26 25 20 6 — 77
Eddyville (77) — Jevin Jensen 8, Tanner Allen 2, Peyton Walker 9, Tanner Swartz 18, Jaden Scott 1, Evan Heinle 4. Total Fouls — 14. Technical foul — Eddyville bench.
Centerville (42) — Michael Starcevich 21, Kotlon Gonnerman 8, Garrett Faris 16, Jared Armington 6, Brett Kauzlarich 12, Tate Felton 4, Garrett McGrann 3, Connor Scully 2, Blake Dabney 2, Devon Glosser 1, Hunter Cowan. Total Fouls — 13.