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CIF basketball: Cents fizzle out in the end

First-half lead gives way to double-digit loss

Posted: February 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Against a tall, athletic team like Inglewood High, Saugus boys basketball had to rely on executing its offense and slowing down the tempo.

The Centurions couldn’t hold onto that game plan for two halves on Friday night at Inglewood High, where they lost 60-49 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs.

“I feel like our season ended prematurely because I do feel like we were better than (Inglewood),” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. “And we would have been better than (Inglewood) if we would have stayed focused and stayed tough.”

Saugus (16-11) came out of the gate strong and ran to an 18-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Jeremy Gatewood led the Centurions with 20 points and was the team’s only player in double figures.

Senior forward Matt Coleman pulled down 11 rebounds for Saugus, which otherwise struggled on the boards against the height of the Sentinels (18-10).

“We would get a stop defensively and then they’d come in and one guy would tip it and another guy would tip it and eventually it would go in,” Ballard said of Inglewood’s offense.

As time went on, Saugus’ guards were worn down by constant full-court pressure.

The Centurions’ lead turned into a 30-30 tie by halftime and the Sentinels began to take control in the third quarter.

“We played tired, we weren’t moving very well defensively, and we didn’t shoot well in the second half either,” Ballard said.
Mitch Davis was Saugus’ second-leading scorer with eight points.

Seven seniors ended their high school basketball careers with Saugus’ loss.

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