CHAMPAIGN — The Centennial Chargers used a balanced scoring attack to hold off Mahomet-Seymour for a 67-52 nonconference boys’ basketball win Saturday night.
“There’s a reason they’re number one in the Big 12, and it’s not just because of (Michael) Finke,” Mahomet-Seymour coach Chad Benedict said. “They have a lot of guys they can use.”
The Chargers had five players score between nine and 13 points. It was much needed because their leading scorer, Finke, was saddled most of the first half with foul trouble.
Finke went to the bench late in the first quarter and wouldn’t return until the third.
It didn’t matter.
After leading by two points at the end of the first quarter, Centennial outscored the Bulldogs 22-8 to build a 16-point lead at halftime.
“It’s good to see that we can still put the ball in the basket when Michael is not on the floor,” Chargers coach Tim Lavin said. “Some guys stepped up and made some big shots.”
One of those guys was Kasey Elam. Elam scored five of his 12 points in the second quarter to jump-start the offense. He was one of five Chargers to make a three-point shot in the period.
Centennial maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half as Finke finally got going. He scored all 12 of his points after the break.
The Chargers led by as many as 21 points with 4:10 left in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs would not quit.
They put together an 11-0 run during the next two minutes to cut their deficit to 10 points but couldn’t get any closer than that.
“If you can get five guys between nine and 13, it makes it tougher to guard because everybody’s contributing,” Lavin said.
Khalil Toombs had a team-high 13 points for the Chargers. Dedric Byrd and Steven Lee added nine apiece to round out the balanced scoring attack.
Jack Rettig led the Bulldogs with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Decatur MacArthur 65, Danville 53. The Vikings allowed 25 points in the first quarter and fought a futile uphill battle from there in a home loss.
Danville managed to cut its deficit to 29-24 by halftime, but the Generals rebuilt the margin to 10 points after three quarters and stayed in command from there.
Denzell Smith scored 16 points and Kylen Butler added 15 for the Vikings.