Centre boys miss chance at state
Girls lose in semi finals
The third time might have been a charm for Rural Vista boys Saturday in the substate championship game at Peabody-Burns, but it was a disaster for the Centre Cougars.
After defeating Rural Vista twice during the regular season and defeating Chase County 64-31 in the substate semifinals, the top-seeded Cougars fell to the Heat, 56-49, depriving them of a trip to the state tournament.
It was the last game for the four starting seniors — Cody Svoboda, Cole Srajer, Max Svoboda, and C.J. Thompson.
The heated contest kept both teams tied or within one or two points throughout most of the game.
Cody Svoboda scored 10 points in the first quarter, and Cole Srajer scored 2, but Rural Vista matched basket for basket, and Centre trailed 12-13.
Centre jumped to a 3-point lead, 22-19, in the second quarter after C.J. Thompson, Xavier Espinoza, Max Svoboda, and Cody Svoboda each scored. The game was tied, 24-24, at halftime after Rural Vista answered with four points and a free throw and Espinoza stole the ball and added 2 points for Centre.
The third quarter was a humdinger as Rural Vista waxed hot from beyond the arc, scoring four 3-point shots. The Cougars continued to answer, with Srajer, Cody Svoboda, and Espinoza scoring points to keep Centre in the game. Centre trailed, 42-41, at the end of the quarter.
A 3-point shot by Srajer early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 44-44. A Rural Vista player and Srajer each made a free throw to keep the game tied.
With under five minutes to go, a basket by Cody Svoboda gave Centre its last lead at 47-45. Rural Vista capitalized on missed shots and turnovers by the Cougars to go on a 9-point run in the next 3 minutes for a 7-point lead.
After Max Svoboda made a basket in the final minute, Rural Vista made two free throws with 5 seconds remaining to maintain the 7-point spread and claim the victory.
The boys ended the season with a record of 17-5.
The girls were defeated Thursday by Chase County, 46-40, in the semifinals. After trailing 25-16 at halftime, they came back within 5 points at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams remained scoreless in the first three minutes of the final quarter. Emily Schlesener and Kate Basore led the Cougars to within 3 points, 41-38, with two minutes to play. Kelsey Hett made 2 free throws with two seconds on the clock to give Centre 40 points, but Chase County had 5 free throws to win by 6 points.
Schlesener finished her high school career with a team-high 13 points. Other seniors playing their last game were Janel Dones, Kate Basore, and Becca Casey.
The girls finished the season with a record of 7-11.
Last modified March 8, 2018