15 straight
wins for
Gold Prep
Fortunately, the possible snowstorm didn’t materialize in Northern New England over the weekend.
It made for a little easier trek north for the Woodstock Academy Gold prep basketball team.
The Centaurs traveled to Bridgton Academy in Maine to participate in the Coaches versus Cancer Winter Classic tournament.
Woodstock Academy made sure it was worth the time spent by taking home the tournament championship Jan. 25 with an 89-86 double overtime victory over Bridgton Academy.
The Centaurs, who stayed overnight, also posted a 106-88 win over Hyde-Maine Jan. 24.
The two wins raised their record to 21-1. Woodstock Academy has now won 15 straight games.
“I think we’re in a good space, but as most coaches would say, we have to continue to get better,” said Centaurs coach Jacque Rivera.
Bridgton Academy tested the Centaurs.
Woodstock Academy took a 12-point lead at the half and were threatening to put the game away early.
But the ball stopped going in the hoop for the Centaurs in the second half.
“When you’re not scoring, it’s hard to set your pressure up and pick up full court and we also had some lack of communication defensively so they came back and capitalized,” Rivera said.
It was nip-and-tuck through the two overtimes.
Centaurs center Chad Venning stepped up in the extra periods.
The 6-foot, 10-inch center from Brooklyn, N.Y., finished with six rebounds.
Still, Bridgton Academy took a four-point lead in the second OT which the Centaurs were able to recover from.
Ronnie DeGray finished with a double-double, 25 points and 10 rebounds. DeGray has yet to commit as to where he will play at the next level.
Dyondre Dominguez and Venning each contributed 15 points to the win.
“We had some plays that I was really happy about. We shared the ball, got some great open looks down the stretch. I think these guys are starting to see it and they’re being selfless.”
The Centaurs opened with the win over Hyde-Maine although it was a little closer than most thought it might be.
The Hyde School, despite suiting up just eight players, was very proficient from beyond, sometimes well beyond, the 3-point line.
“They’re used to playing as the underdogs and any time you’re the underdog, you’re scary,” Rivera said. “Credit them, they hit the shots and played us tough.”
Dominguez finished with a double-double, 22 points and 10 rebounds. DeGray finished with 19 points, Cairo McCrory added 17 and Venning scored 12.
The Centaurs have a Power-5 Conference game early in the week at Springfield Commonwealth Academy and then play a Friday afternoon contest against Mt. Zion Prep at the National Prep School Invitational. The Centaurs have another game at RIC Feb. against Sunrise Christian.
“It’s tough right now because everyone has those little knick-knacks (injuries and illness) going on and as you get closer to the end of the season with older guys, they start to press a little bit more. Where are they going and feeling like they have to play well. We just have to continue to truck along,” Rivera said.
Blue Prep
The Woodstock Academy Blue prep basketball team knows all about injuries and illness.
The Centaurs have not had their full complement of players since before the Christmas break and it has shown on the scoreboard.
The Blue team continued to experience hard times with losses to Notre Dame-West Haven, 95-79, and The Patrick School, 54-35, last week.
The two losses dropped the Centaurs record to 13-10 and extended the losing streak to five games.
Vondre Chase led Woodstock Academy with 27 points in the loss to Notre Dame which is led by former Centaurs Blue coach, Nick DeFeo.
The Centaurs trailed by only six at the half, but were outscored 49-39 in the second half.
Malikai Delgado added 15 points for the Centaurs while Nahshon Battle contributed 11.
Battle was the only player in double figures for the Blue team on Saturday.
The Centaurs had to travel to the heart of New York City in Flushing, Queens to play the Patrick School and could only muster the 35 points.
Battle finished with 17.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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