The Centennial High School boys basketball team will enter next season with some question marks.
"We're going to have to figure out what we're going to do with the guard situation," 16th-year coach Roosevelt Osborne III said after his team finished 12-11 overall with a 69-46 loss at fourth-seeded Hartley on March 3 in the second round of the Division II district tournament. "It'll be maybe the first time in all of my coaching years that we won't have a proven varsity guard on the floor to start the season."
The Stars are losing three seniors, including point guard Sean Tyson and shooting guard Gary Elder. Tyson led the team in scoring (13.8 points), assists (6.1) and steals (2.7), and Elder averaged 12.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals.
"Sean had a good season and was our leader on the floor, and Gary did a lot of things well for us," Osborne said. "(Senior guard) Nigel Harris did a good job off the bench for us, too."
The Stars, who were seeded 12th of 22 teams in the tournament, defeated 16th-seeded Licking Valley 76-65 in a first-round home game Feb. 26.
Centennial overcame some adversity this year after beginning the season with five seniors. Before being dismissed, wing player Craig Burt played in 14 games and averaged 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.6 steals. Forward Myles Spence-Bell averaged 2.4 points and 2.8 rebounds before being lost to grades.
"We had to switch a few guys around and we brought up some kids from j.v. that did a good job," Osborne said. "We also had some of our big guys miss time with injuries.
"I was proud of the way we handled things and persevered. To get a winning season ... at times I think we were winning by smoke and mirrors and really getting the most out of our guys."
Junior forward Myles Martinez averaged 10.7 points and 5.1 rebounds, and freshman guard/forward Jaylen Gilbert averaged 10.7 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds.
Centennial went 7-7 in the City League-North Division to tie Linden-McKinley and Mifflin for fourth behind Beechcroft (14-0), Northland (10-4) and East (9-5) and ahead of Whetstone (2-10) and International (0-14).
Tyson was second-team all-league, and Elder and Martinez both were honorable mention. Tyson and Gilbert both were named honorable mention all-district.
Also contributing were juniors Ira Campbell (forward) and Dominic Cesaro (guard) and sophomores Ahmed Dada (forward) and Cameron Kates (guard). Campbell averaged 4.8 points and 2.7 rebounds, and Dada averaged 2.1 points.
Also expected to return are sophomores Alex Crippen (forward) and Kelvin Gilliam (forward) and freshmen Trevor Foley (forward) and Jaylon Jackson (guard).
@Brad_ThisWeekAt a glance
•Record: 12-11 overall, 7-7 (tied for fourth) in City-North
•Senior lost: Gary Elder, Nigel Harris and Sean Tyson
•Key returnees: Ira Campbell, Jaylen Gilbert and Myles Martinez