By STEPHEN JIRON
Courier Sports Editor
ANTONITO — Homecoming night soured at the half for Antonito (0-8) as they were unable to capture their first win of the season against Southern Peaks opponent Centennial (3-7). The Rams defeated the home team in a back and forth game by a score of 46-42.
In their last two games Centennial was able to split their home stand with a 1-1 record taking down La Veta (1-9) and falling to Creede (5-7). Antonito entered Friday night’s game with intentions of ending their winless streak.
Things looked good for the home team's goal as they would lead early. With Antonito up 6-5, Centennial’s Lennie Valdez would take an assist from Cisco Esquibel and put up the go-ahead lay-up. The Trojans would reclaim the lead with a 12-2 run to finish the first quarter with an advantage. The Rams struck back before the half. Equibel would spearhead a 13-point second quarter for the Rams that ended with Centennial senior Nick Kuhn sinking the final bucket to give the Rams a 27-25 lead going to the locker room.
The Rams would not relinquish this lead, 6 minutes into the third quarter and Centennial had built their one basket lead into an eight-point advantage.
Antonito would do all they could to chip away at the lead. With 5 of the Trojan’s 11 points in the final quarter Josh Duran helped to engineer a final push for Antonito. Duran led all Antonito scoring with 20 points on the night. The Trojans could not make good on their pressure possessions in the fourth quarter relenting their eighth loss of the season to Centennial by a four-point margin.
Esquibel took the scoring title for Centennial Friday night cashing in on a three pointer and collecting 23 points.
Things don’t get any easier for Antonito as they’ll go on the road for Saturday’s meeting with fourth ranked Sangre de Cristo (7-1) games are scheduled for a 6 p.m. start. Centennial will be looking to make good on the win by starting their first winning streak of the season when they host Manzanola (2-8) Saturday night.