After a regular season of injury and illness that affected a large part of the roster, the Centennial boys basketball team entered the postseason healthy and confident but was unable to overcome a tough opponent.
The 14th-seeded Stars lost at third-seeded DeSales 84-61 in the second round of the Division II district tournament Feb. 29 to finish 10-14 overall.
The Stallions were led by Desmond Watson and Kobe Righter, who scored 31 and 25 points, respectively.
Junior guard Travonne Jackson led the Stars with 21 points. Junior guard Jaylen Gilbert scored 15 and senior wing player Ahmed Dada added 13.
"We shot a lot of shots that we weren't supposed to shoot," coach Roosevelt Osborne III said. "We didn't have any composure. We were rebounding well early, we played well with them early, but we shot 22 3-point shots and that's not our formula. That doesn't work for us.
"We didn't execute. We didn't have the patience you need to have to beat a team like that in the tournament."
The Stars opened the postseason Feb. 26 with an 86-72 home win over 15th-seeded Licking Valley. They finished fifth (7-7) in the City League-North Division behind champion Linden-McKinley (12-2).
Although the season didn't go as planned, Osborne said the players gave a strong effort and showed composure during the latter part of the season.
"Considering the early injuries and the illness and everything, it is what it is. I'm disappointed, but I'm not disappointed with the effort we had at the end," he said. "We finally got in shape and we started playing better basketball at the end. We had a lot of close games with some really good teams, but we ran out of time.
"Those are all good kids, they're good players. I saw a lot of positive things. I'm not disappointed in the effort we showed down the stretch."
The Stars lose Dada, senior guard Luchene Davis, senior forward Kelvin Gilliam and senior guard Cameron Kates to graduation, but they expect to return several key contributors.
Expected key returnees include Gilbert, Jackson and junior guards Tyreek Gunnell and Jaylon Jackson. Gilbert was third-team all-district.
"We're going to come back with a lot of experience," Osborne said. "If they're healthy, it could be a very interesting season."