Coyote girls fall to Arcadia, look forward

Centennial and Arcadia players wait for Titans sophomore Sierra Montez to shoot her free throw during Tuesday’s 65-41 win for Arcadia in the first round of the 5A playoffs. (Jeff Eddington/Special to West Valley Preps)

Jeff Edgington

Special to West Valley Preps

First the bad news.
The Centennial Coyotes girls basketball team ran into a buzzsaw Tuesday night in the form of the Arcadia Titans.

A 17 turnover night didn’t help their first round upset bid either.

Leading just 35-30 the No. 2 seed exploded out of a timeout to conclude the third quarter up 14. They left no doubt in the final frame finishing off No. 15 Centennial 65-41.

“That was devastating. We talked about getting it to the fourth quarter in shape. We just couldn’t get past that burst,” Centennial Coach Matt Visinstainer said.
Junior Bryce Nixon had 27 and her Titan teammate Cassidy Campbell out-scored the visiting Coyotes 48-41 by themselves.
Arcadia (26-2) fell in the quarterfinals last season after going 23-8. Nixon notched her 47th consecutive double-digit scoring game.
The Titans were contested early into the third quarter. But Taylor Leonard couldn’t get much help. The Centennial junior finished with 17.
At the end of the day, the turnovers led to the Coyotes not getting set on defense. Centennial was rebounding, they averaged 35 per contest, just not hitting shots for a span in the second and last 10 minutes.
Now the positive.
Coach Visinstainer grinned when mentioning the future. His Coyotes will build towards 2017-18 with four returning starters and their five leading scorers coming back. He was pleased with that.
And the team made progress this year even though the 17-11 record looks almost like deja vu from 16-1 in 2015-16. Centennial made it one round further in the playoffs.
“It’s bittersweet. We won 17 games, defeated Liberty twice. We knew we had to be at our best when we stepped in the gym against a team like Arcadia. Bryce (Dixon) is a great player. We will be better for this,” Coach Visinstainer said.
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