Basketball

Rolling Rebels Headed to State Finals for First Time in School History

The Central Rebels continue to rewrite program history, knocking off Lafayette 82-57 in the Semis on Thursday. They will take on Vashon Friday for a chance to bring home their first ever State Championship.

The dream is just one step away. One game from ultimate glory. One more all-out effort for all the marbles.

On Thursday, the Park Hills Central Rebels took down the Lafayette Fighting Irish out of St. Joseph, MO.  The 82-57 drubbing launched the Rebels into the State Finals for the time in the history of the program. This is officially uncharted territory, so history has already been made… whether it is expanded upon remains to be seen.

The road to glory will not be an easy one though, as the Rebels are pitted against perennial powerhouse Vashon in the Finals. The Wolverines are no strangers to the State Playoffs, as they have won seven Championships since 2000, and are looking for the “three-peat” this year.

 

Despite the degree of difficulty in potentially reigning in the first State Title in school history, the Rebels look to be in peak form. If their performance against a 22-8 Lafayette squad showed us anything, it’s that these Rebels can pretty much play with anyone.

The game on Thursday was more or less a bloodbath after the first eight minutes of play. Thanks to a couple of big threes and a bucket from Mason Williams and nine points from Jobe Bryant, Central went up 29-12. That 17 point lead was one they would never relinquish.

They won the second-quarter battle 18-11 to increase their already-generous lead, with Zack Boyd and Caden Casey leading the way with six and five points respectively. That made the score 47-23 at the half and had the Rebels firmly entrenched in the driver’s seat.

The boys from Park Hills didn’t let up in the third either, dropping another 24 points on the Fighting Irish and holding them to 18. Bryant was big again in the quarter, posting another nine-point effort. Finally, in the fourth the Rebels eased up a bit and killed the clock thanks to the luxury of their sizable lead. Lafayette outscored them 16-11, but the game was already in hand.

The crowd erupted as the final buzzer sounded, and Central was headed to the State Finals after a convincing 82-57 victory.

Bryant paced the scoring with 20 points, but the offense was truly spread out in this one. Williams had 16 points, Casey had 15 and Boyd had nine. Triston Stewart and Kendall Horton each had eight as well.

These Rebels will need to bring this level of intensity tomorrow as well, if they’re going to have a shot at knocking off the Wolverines. Central is 28-3 this season, compared to Vashon’s 24-7 record, but don’t let that discrepancy fool you. These Wolverines are as tough as they get, and they are hungry for a third straight title.

If you go back to 2016, Vashon has won five titles in seven years, and that includes 2020 when Covid got in the way and the season was cancelled. So, technically 2018 was the only time they didn’t win outright in a full season. They will be a handful to say the least.

That being said, this Rebels squad matches up well against just about anybody and has outscored the Wolverines overall in the tournament so far, so expect an explosive atmosphere tomorrow. Here’s hoping Central can not only make it a nail-biter, but pull off the upset against such a seasoned tournament team.

Tipoff is Friday 3/17 at 2 pm.

Good luck Rebels! Rolling Rebels Headed to State Finals for First Time in School History

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