Centennial Holds off Northeast Academy to Win First Gold Ball

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 6:11 pm

By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 12, 2011 11:31 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
OKBitz.com Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Despite never trailing in the contest, the Oklahoma Centennial Bison had to survive late to top the Northeast Academy Vikings 64-59 Saturday to hoist the Class 3A Gold Ball.

The Bison built an early advantage, and led 22-18 to start the second half. Centennial opened the second half with a three-pointer from Desean Carolina and added a layup from senior Marcus Johnson to push the lead to nine points.

Leading by nine with 3:40 left in the quarter, the Centennial strung together an 8-2 run – including back-to-back from behind the arc from Johnson – to push the lead to extend the lead to 39-27.

That lead would hold and the Bison went into the fourth quarter leading by 13, but Northeast Academy wouldn’t go down easy.

Less than two minutes into the fourth, trailing by 13, Northeast Academy converted on back-to-back possessions to slice it back to single digits. That sparked a 12-4 run that put the Vikings down 55-51 with just four minutes left to play.

However, Centennial was in the bonus and nearly every foul from then on out led to Bison points. Centennial hit on seven of its closing 10 free throws to quell the Viking comeback attempt.

Johnson led the charge for Centennial with 25, senior Craig Hackney adding 13 and Jones contributing 10 for the Bison.

Korihan Jackson set the pace for Northeast Academy with 18 points, 10 in the game’s final quarter, with junior Caleb Crayton scoring 14 and Eric Peabody contributing 13.

The Vikings finish the season 18-8, graduating just three seniors from the squad.

Centennial claims the school’s first Gold Ball in any sport, being created just five years by splitting John Marshall High School.

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