After a brief hiccup last week, where the Central Rebels stumbled against MICDS for their first loss since opening day, the squad from Park Hills has returned to form. Having won three in a row, after besting Potosi last week and Confluence Prep and Ste. Genevieve this week, the running Rebels are taking no prisoners once again.
This week Park Hills hosted a pair of home games, starting on Tuesday Against Confluence Prep Academy Charter, and this one started out with a bang. After a wild first quarter, that featured scoring across the board (including nine from Jobe Bryant), the Rebels found themselves with a 25-23 lead after just eight minutes of play.
They would adjust on defense in the second though and make their push. Good news, the offense didn’t slow down in the slightest. Central drained another 26 points, but this time they held Con-Prep to just 12. Bryant was big again with another eight points and Caden Casey made three buckets for six of his own. That gave the Rebs a cozy 51-35 lead at the half.
After the break, Park Hills kept the line moving on offense with another 21 points and kept their opponents at bay with just 14, extending their already sizable lead. Casey and Mason Williams hit big threes in the quarter to help set up the final frame. The Rebels managed another 16 in the fourth, thanks in large part to Zack Boyd, who had four buckets, and kept Prep virtually off the board with a mere eight. That cemented the 88-57 victory and moved Central to 14-2 on the season.
Bryant led all scorers on both sides with 23 points and his accuracy at the line continues to impress, as he hit 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. He had plenty of help in this one though, with five players in double figures. Casey had 14, Boyd had 12, Kannon Harlow had 10 and Kendall Horton had a dime as well. Williams was the top outside shooter with three buckets from beyond the arc.
That win made it two in a row and carried some momentum over into Friday night’s game against a very tough Ste. Gen squad. The Rebels hosted again, and this one started out tight just like the last one did. After a back-and-forth first quarter, Central and Ste. Gen were knotted at 16. Bryant put nine on the scoreboard in the first eight minutes, but his big night was just getting started.
He had six more in the second quarter and the Rebels nearly matched their total from the first with 15 additional points. Except this time they held the Dragons to just 10 to open up a nice five-point lead going into the halftime break. When the whistle blew it was 31-26, and Central would only get stronger as the game progressed.
They really found their offensive rhythm in the third with a game-high 20-point effort, highlighted by another nine from Bryant. Williams hit a big three and Casey and Horton both hit a pair of buckets to increase the lead to 51-33. Ste. Gen fell victim to the Park Hills defense and mustered just seven in the frame, their lowest total of the contest.
It was pretty much in the bag at that point, but the Central still won the fourth quarter battle 16-13 against a desperate Dragons squad that just couldn’t quite get there. When the final buzzer sounded the Rebels had themselves a 67-46 victory, three wins in a row and a remarkable 15-2 record on the season.
Bryant took over in this one and was the majority of the offense from a purely scoring perspective. He managed 28 points and did almost all of it in the paint, draining 12 buckets. Casey was the only other player with double-digit points, as he totaled 11 on five baskets and a freebie. Williams once again was the deadeye from downtown, making the only two three-pointers of the game for the Rebels. He finished with nine points.
This was a solid week of basketball to further shake off that rare and uncharacteristic loss last week. Central will look to continue their dominance next week as they travel to West County before heading to Farmington.