Winter pg 9 1-11-18

The weather didn’t make it nice for many this past week.
Especially for those traveling back to school from places like the West Coast.
Flight delays and changes meant three members of the Woodstock Academy Gold prep basketball squad, Luis Rodriguez, Marquis Moore and Dibaji Walker, almost didn’t make it back to campus this past weekend.
The three finally arrived on Saturday night, making it difficult to suit up and play a basketball game Jan. 7.
“It was a long, long break and this storm killed us. Three of our guys got in late last night, didn’t even have any practice. It threw us all out of sync, out of whack, and you could see that in the first half,” said Woodstock Academy prep basketball coach Tony Bergeron.
The Centaurs were about as cold as the weather outside in the first half, but they gradually warmed up in the second half and rolled to a 111-83 win over Prestige Prep out of New Jersey.
The Centaurs opened an 11-point lead after Jakigh Dottin (13 points) scored on a pair of free throws with 4:51 left to play in the first half.
But the Patriots (13-8) scored the next eight points to close within three, 38-35.
Ty Perry helped the Gold squad build a 10-point by halftime when he scored seven of his game-high 26 points in the final 1:40 of the half.
“It was a good feeling to get in the groove,” Perry said with a smile.
The Centaurs put the game away when they outscored Prestige Prep, 17-6, to begin the second half.
Elijah Buchanan hit a pair of 3-pointers in that run and finished with 13 points. Jeameril Wilson added four of his eight points in the run.
The win helped the Centaurs rebound from their first loss of the season before break.
“We just wanted to have a new mindset; to come out and play hard every day and compete every day in practice. Don’t take the loss as a loss, but rather as a learning experience,” Perry said.
The win raised the Centaurs’ record to 17-1 – a record that will usually bring out the best in any opponent.
“We have to be a little more guarded and (play) with a sense of urgency,” Bergeron said. “People are coming at us. No matter what we say or do, there is no way to twist it, we are the favorites at every single game we walk into. We have a target on our backs and we’re going to get everyone’s best game. Scouting teams now is useless because the way they play everyone else is not how they will play us.”
While the opponents will be pumped, Bergeron said the Gold squad will be as well.
“I’m excited. I just like being with the kids. It’s all we talked about in the locker room was how much fun basketball is and it was fun for us again (Sunday),” Bergeron said. “It started becoming a job down the stretch. We were laboring the last four or five games so the break is exactly what we needed. I told them, ‘You’re not making it through the rest of the season without losing games. Keep battling. Win more than you lose, and we will be in the National (Championship) tournament.”
Blue squad makes it seven straight
The Woodstock Academy Blue prep basketball team is on a roll.
The Centaurs made it seven straight in the win column with a 101-95 win over Olympus Prep (N.J.) Jan. 7 at the Alumni Fieldhouse.
That followed a hard fought, 78-74, win over Prestige Prep Jan. 6.
“Seven in row and now we get a little time off (the Blue squad doesn’t play again until Sunday), but we have a lot to work on. We have possibly our biggest test coming up on Sunday against Tilton (School at the BABC Invitational in Boston),” Blue coach Nick DeFeo said.
One of the things the Centaurs will have to work on is the press break.
The Centaurs were on fire in the first half against Olympus Prep when they put down 11 3-pointers.
“We were shooting the ball from everywhere and it was going in,” DeFeo said.
The Centaurs finished with 20 3-pointers in the game by nine different players.
That kind of production helped the Centaurs take a 52-35 lead at the half.
But Olympus Prep fought back. It cut the lead to four, 73-69, with 9:34 left to play after a run sparked by Jaunye Colon (23 points) and Jazere Noel who combined for 12 points in 2:13.
But it was the press that caused the most trouble.
“A couple of us were fatigued. Stupid turnovers and stuff like that,” said E.J. Dambreville who agreed the back-to-back games out of break were tough. “Those were two good teams that we played and the fatigue. We got through it.”
Dambreville and Gedi Juozapaitis kept Olympus Prep at bay.
Dambreville scored half of his 24 points in the second half while Jouzapaitis added 14 of his 19 points including a pair of impressive dunks.
But Juozapaitis anticipated the comeback by the Centaurs’ opponents.
“We always struggle in the second half and that’s something we need to work on,” said the resident of London, England. “I’m just glad we stayed in the game and got the win.”
Woodstock Academy (13-6) reestablished as much as a 14-point lead, only to see Olympus Prep cut it back to the three again, 96-93, with a minute left.
Two free throws by Danny Dade and another Juozapaitis dunk, following an Olympus Prep turnover, guaranteed the Centaurs the victory.
“It’s great,” Dambreville said of the winning streak. “We started out the year pretty strong. We went into a little slump, winning a game, losing a game, it’s nice to be on a seven-game win streak.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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