The Centennial High School girls volleyball team played at Mifflin on Oct. 9 with an eye toward competing in the City League championship match Saturday, Oct. 13.
The Stars, who defeated Mifflin 25-16, 25-14, 25-12 on Sept. 13 in the first round of league play, would have clinched a share of the City-North Division title with a victory. They entered the match at 13-7 overall and 12-1 in the league.
A 14-25, 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13 win at Whetstone on Oct. 4 gave Centennial the upper hand. Although the Braves also could finish 13-1 in the league to share the title, the Stars would be awarded the berth in the City final based on the fact Whetstone represented the City-North last season.
"It was so exciting to beat (Whetstone) because they beat us three times last season, they were the defending (City-North) champion and we were playing at their place," coach Brittani Lewis said. "It was so tense and stressful and I don't know if the girls could hear me by the end of the match. I was so hoarse."
The win avenged a 26-24, 16-25, 25-20, 26-24 loss to the Braves on Sept. 11.
"Naa (Dromo Korley) had some big blocks and Sky (Harris) was all over the floor saving balls," Lewis said. "Akea Hunter had some good kills and placement shots and overall, after we calmed down a bit from the first set, we played very well. We found some open spots on their corners and kept going there and I think that was the difference."
By virtue of rotating the City final from the City-North winner to the City-South winner, the Stars would play host to the match. Eastmoor Academy won the City-South.
Centennial is seeded 47th of 49 teams for the Division I district tournament and has a first-round bye. The Stars will play second-seeded Dublin Coffman or 49th-seeded Franklin Heights in the second round Oct. 19 at the home of the better seed.
Football team falls short against Cougars
The football team will try to bounce back from a tough loss when it visits winless Linden-McKinley on Friday, Oct. 12.
The Stars are 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the City-North following a 30-25 loss to Beechcroft on Oct. 5. The Panthers lost to Northland 60-0 the same night to drop to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the league.
Linden, which finished 2-8 last year, has scored 24 points all season and allowed 200.
The Stars were trying to beat Beechcroft for the first time, as the Cougars had won all 21 previous meetings.
The game was tied at 6 at halftime before the Stars fell behind 18-13 entering the fourth quarter. Quarterback Jaylen Gilbert gave the Stars a 19-18 lead with a 1-yard run.
After Elijah Hairston caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from DeShannon Butler to give the Cougars a 24-19 lead with 6 minutes, 6 seconds left, Gilbert scored on an 11-yard run to put the Stars ahead 25-24 with 2:09 to play.
Facing fourth-and-13 from their team's 17, Butler and Hairston connected on an 83-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds left to give Beechcroft the winning points.
"(Hairston) ran a double-move and we bit on it and (Butler) threw a perfect pass," coach Donte Goosby said. "But we still had a final chance and nearly pulled it out."
Centennial used a kickoff return, pass completions of 15 yards to Luchene Davis and 12 yards to Chemlahyah Yisrael and a pass-interference penalty on the Cougars to reach the red zone. But a holding penalty moved the ball back to the 25, and Hairston intercepted Gilbert's pass on the final play.
"We can't wait to get back on the field again and that's the great thing about having a young team," Goosby said. "We'll treat Linden like every other opponent on our schedule. We'll prepare hard and try to eliminate the mistakes we made against Beechcroft.
"We had a 78-yard touchdown nullified by a penalty, we muffed a punt that set up one of their touchdowns and we had a roughing-the-passer penalty on a third-and-12 and (Beechcroft) scored two plays later. We have a lot to work on."
Boys golf team wraps up season
The boys golf team will be looking to replace one senior from its starting lineup next season and continue to show improvement within the rest of the roster, which was comprised this fall of first-year competitors.
Senior Chris Sfikas and junior Turner Wolfenberger represented the Stars in a Division I sectional Oct. 2 at Turnberry. Wolfenberger shot a 120 to place 67th and Sfikas had a 122 to finish 69th.
Sfikas posted the seventh-best scoring average (50.1 per nine holes) in the City to earn second-team all-league.
Wolfenberger (59.3) and freshman Joel Ford (65) were honorable mention all-league.
The Stars went 11-3 and finished third in the league standings with 32 points, which were accumulated through regular-season matches and the City tournament Oct. 4 at Airport. Whetstone finished first (42, 14-0) and Walnut Ridge (34, 11-3) was runner-up.
In the City tournament, the Stars (235) placed third behind Whetstone (187) and Walnut Ridge (207). Sfikas (50) led the way and was followed by Wolfenberger (59), freshman Anna Dixon (60) and Ford (66).
Also on the roster were junior Max Napier and freshman Gabe McIntire.
In addition to Dixon, the girls on the roster were senior Adjy-annah West and juniors Breana Fleischer and Lura Patterson.
Coach David Leatherwood is hoping to find a few more girls players to have a separate girls team.
Season ends for girls tennis team
The season concluded for the girls tennis team in a Division I sectional Oct. 5 at Upper Arlington.
In singles, senior Emma Young and sophomore Nicole Kaiser lost play-in matches while sophomore Michaela Smith lost in the first round.
In doubles, freshmen Brianna Richardson and Foune Traore lost in the first round while sophomore Champa Bista and freshman Erica Natividad withdrew.
Centennial finished 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the City-North.
The Stars competed without senior Zoey Weil, who finished third in the state tournament each of the past two seasons but chose not to play this year. That left Young as the lone senior.
The other 12 girls in the program were sophomores and freshmen.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 12th-seeded Independence in first round of Division II district tournament. The Stars are seeded 10th of 24 teams.
Oct. 11 -- Whetstone in City final at Mapfre Stadium
Oct. 15 -- At ninth-seeded Licking Valley in first round of Division II district tournament. The Stars are seeded 10th of 15 teams.