Early rush carries Sanford to win over Center

Sanford junior Trent Koenig (3) gets vertical as Center’s Carlos Almeida (22) and Victor Almeida (10) look on. (VC/Jiron)

CENTER — The first meeting between Southern Peaks (SPL) teams went to visiting Sanford by a score of 49-38.

The Sanford boys basketball team (8-3, 1-0 SPL) has been performing well thus far this season. Despite playing a large portion of their early schedule in the 3A class, they enter their league schedule bearing only three losses. Center (6-4, 1-1 SPL) entered Friday’s game on a high after some nifty perimeter shooting gave them the win over Del Norte on the road.

A game of swings went to Center early. With Sanford struggling with turnovers, Center pounced and ran out to an 8-0 lead thanks to three-pointers from Devin Porres and Habran DeLaCruz. Sanford made some adjustments and halted Center’s first-quarter run.

With Center silenced, Sanford rattled off 11 points to close the first quarter and finished the rally with 8 more in the second quarter for 19 unanswered points between quarters. Sanford’s Trent Koenig contributed a team-leading 10 points to Sanford’s first-half burst. Four points from Center closed the half with the visitors leading 19-12. Having grabbed the lead, Sanford played well down the stretch not to let Center back in the game. Sanford senior Thomas Faucette got better as the game went on hitting 12 points in the second half to lead his team in scoring on the night with 17 points.

The two traded shots in the third quarter and Center was able to outscore Sanford 16-15 but it wasn’t near enough to dig Center out of the hole. The fourth quarter was occupied by a number of fouls and the two teams combined for seven visits to the charity stripe Sanford getting the better of the final quarter by a 15-10 margin giving the visitors a 49-38 win.

Center senior Devin Porres led the Vikings in scoring with 17 points 9 coming off 3 pointers.

The win marked a two-win streak for Sanford and notched their first league win of the season. Sanford will visit rival Sargent on Saturday for a league meeting. Center will get a chance to bounce back from this loss going on the road to meet Crested Butte on Saturday. Sanford and Center will meet for another league designated game on Feb. 14th.

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