CENTERVILLE — Following the sting of their first loss of the season to Knoxville last Friday night, the Centerville girls basketball team rebounded with a commanding performance over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Tuesday night at home during Senior Night.
After regaining the outright edge in the SCC title race one night earlier after a stunning 46-40 win by Clarke over Knoxville, the Redettes maintained the advantage with a 67-39 victory over the Rockets. Knoxville bounced back with a 61-31 win over Albia on Tuesday, staying within half-a-game of Centerville with EBF scheduled to visit the Panthers on Friday.
EBF opened the scoring at Centerville on a lay-up by Rylee German. Following a put back by Centerville's Claire George and a free throw by Rachel George, EBF's Whitney Klyn hit a jumper to give the Rockets a 4-3 lead, their last lead of the game as the Redettes took control of the game.
"Our 1-3-1 causes problems for teams," noted Centerville head coach Nic Belloma.
During the next five minutes of play, Centerville would outscore the visitors from Eddyville 14-2 to close out the first quarter of play with a 17-6 lead and never look back. Centerville hit 3-pointers by Allison Casteel and Rachel George in that span, which would be two of the six treys they would connect on during the game.
The second period saw an offensive onslaught by the Redettes. Claire Mathews, who became the program's fourth all-time 1,000-point scorer last week, knocked down 11 points in the second quarter.
"We gave them too many transition points," quipped EBF head coach Tony Fenton.
Leading 34-14, Mickey Stephens hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the first half of play, sending Centerville to the locker room with a dominated 37-14 lead.
Centerville opened the second half with six straight points before EBF's Lille Hynick hit a jumper. Claire George's jump shot would close out the third quarter as Centerville held a commanding 56-25 lead.
Heading into the final frame, Matthews would lead the final charge for Centerville, opening the final quarter with a 3-point jump shot from the left baseline, a lay-up and a fast break score fueled by a Redette steal and assist. Aliya Wagamon hit a 3-pointer for EBF with four minutes to play, and the Rockets did outscore Centerville 14-4 over the final six minutes of play.
"We have a tough stretch of games coming up, with five games in six days," noted Fenton. "It's tough when your club is struggling."
Rachel George turned in an outstanding performance for Centerville with 11 points, seven rebounds, nine blocked shots, three steals and three assists on the night. Mathews hit on 21 points to lead the Redettes in scoring.
Stephens was also in double figures in scoring with 15 points, and also added seven boards for the Redettes. Whitney Klyn led the Rockets in scoring with eight points while German and Wagamon each added seven points.
Before heading to Clarke on Friday with a chance to clinch at least a share of the SCC title, Centerville (14-1, 9-1 SCC) travels to Leon on Thursday for a non-conference test at Central Decatur. EBF (7-11, 4-7 SCC) will now host Sigourney on Tuesday, rescheduling the game from Thursday night to avoid the impact of any winter weather that moves through the area.
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
EBF 6 8 9 14 39
Centerville 17 20 19 11 67