After the Centennial High School girls basketball team defeated Columbus East 61-35 in a City League-North Division game Jan. 10, the Stars didn't spend any extra time celebrating their victory.
The Stars, who were 8-5 overall and 7-1 in the City-North before playing Columbus International on Jan. 14, quickly filed off East's court and into the locker room.
"We're happy that we won, but we didn't play that well and this was a game that we were expected to win," coach Darrin Green said. "So far we've won the games that we are supposed to win and have lost to most of the better teams on our schedule. We're still searching for that special win that signifies that we belong up there with the top teams in the area."
The Stars get another chance at earning a signature victory when they play host to Northland in a league game Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The Vikings -- led by senior guard Brooklynn Peterson, senior post player Aliyah Colvin, junior forward Miesha Howard and junior guards Armani Skipper and Ariel Skipper -- are 11-1 overall and 8-0 in the City-North, including a 71-48 rout of Centennial on Dec. 9.
"The winner of this game will probably go on to win our league, so it's very important," Green said. "We need to match Northland's intensity while staying disciplined and playing smart. Our biggest issue has been staying disciplined on both sides of the ball. "What I mean by that is we need to have everyone in the right spots and knowing what they are doing there at all times. We also need to stay hungry and make sure we treat every possession like it's critical."
Junior point guard Izzi Luaces said the Stars can't turn the ball over too many times or give up many easy points.
"Northland is fast and aggressive and you can't turn the ball over to them because they will score off your turnovers every time," Luaces said. "Me, Akiya Brown and Alyssa Dean are the players who handle the ball the most for our team and we have to be smart and not throw the ball away when they pressure us."
Junior forward Marissa Robertson said the Stars need to force the Vikings into turnovers to spark their offense.
The Stars forced 30 turnovers against East. Dean scored 13 points, while Luaces had 11 and DeAuja Thompson added nine.
"We're a defensive team and when we communicate on defense and steal the ball, that's when we make good runs on offense," Robertson said. "Northland has some really physical players, so we've got to match their intensity. This is for the league championship and we're so hyped to play them again."
Leading Centennial in scoring through 14 games were Dean (16.5 points per contest), Brown (11.2), Thompson (9.4) and Luaces (7.4).
Robertson was averaging a team-high 9.3 rebounds, followed by Thompson (6.0), Aysia Ashley (5.1) and Luaces (5.0).
Boys basketball team picks up two wins
The boys basketball team went 2-0 in City-North games last week, beating Mifflin 79-62 on Jan. 8 and East 48-42 on Jan. 10.
The Stars were 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the City-North before playing International on Jan. 14.
Against Mifflin, Joe Thomas scored 25 points, Gyai Gyamerah had 16, Octavius Luke had 13 and Anthony Slappy had 11.
Thomas had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Luke scored 14 points and Gyamerah scored 11 against East, as the Stars avenged a 64-52 loss to the Tigers on Dec. 10.
Centennial plays host Friday, Jan. 17, to Beechcroft in a league game before playing another league contest Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Northland.
Northland beat Centennial 90-51 on Dec. 9, as Ty Hairston scored 22 points and Seth Towns and Doug Taylor each scored 16. For the Stars, Thomas scored 17 and Gyamerah had 13.
Swimming teams take second in tri-meet
The boys swimming and diving team finished second (87 points) in a tri-meet Jan. 10 behind Olentangy Orange (132) and ahead of Wellington (76), as its 200-yard medley relay won in 2 minutes, 10.17 seconds.
The girls team finished second (91) behind Orange (146) and Wellington (67), as Julia Brooks won the 100 freestyle in 1:00.13.