MAHOMET — That Mahomet-Seymour gave the state’s sixth-ranked Class 3A team a serious tussle didn’t surprise Chad Benedict. The Bulldogs coach has seen it before this season.
“Our team has risen up and played to the level of competition all year long,” Benedict said after M-S let a second-half lead slip away in a 46-43 loss to the Chargers. “We have to quit worrying about that and just play for what’s on the front of our jersey, bottle that up and just see what happens.
“Our kids really competed for 32 minutes tonight.”
For the second time this season, Centennial rallied on the road behind clutch baskets by Khalil Toombs. The junior, who helped Centennial beat Bloomington in double overtime Jan. 4, scored six critical points to key a fourth-quarter rally.
“I felt like my team needed somebody to step up, and I did my part,” said Toombs, who finished with eight points. “I was just trying to do what my team needed me to do.”
Illinois recruit Michael Finke had 13 points and six rebounds for Centennial, which trailed 27-20 in the third quarter. Luke Vaughn added nine points and eight rebounds.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Centennial coach Tim Lavin said. “This is a tough place to play. They had the momentum going. We made some plays.”
Sam Hohlfelder had 19 points and Connor Diedrich added 18 for M-S, which was outscored 15-8 in the fourth quarter.
“We just need to finish down the stretch,” said Diedrich, who made 8 of 13 shots. “We’ll find a way.”