When 3 of Centennial’s top players decided to leave in the summer, many high school prognosticators thought it marked a decline in the program and the way Josh Giles does business.
This past week’s results should quiet the critics for at least a little while. The Tarkanian Classic is considered one of the premiere high school tournaments which brings out college coaches from around the country.
When the brackets were announced Centennial was given the lowest seed (#16) in the Tournament which meant they had to play the top ranked # 1 Neumann Goretti out of Philadelphia.
Centennial vs Neuman Gorretti. 68-64
This may have been the game of the tournament. Embattled physically and mentally, Centennial overcame a 5 point deficit with just over a minute to play. Jared McCain hit 8 three point shots and Paris Dawson put the team over the top with a gorgeous spinning layup that bounced off the rim not once, not twice but 3 times before falling through the twine putting his team up in the waning seconds.
Centennial vs Coronado 83-48
In a rematch of the So-Cal -Las Vegas Showdown in Pasadena which the Huskies were victorious just last week, coach Giles double-downed on his strategy of pressuring the hell out of the ball and making 2021 #1 ranked prospect Jaden Hardy work for his baskets. Coronado grew frustrated and Centennial cruised to the 35 points victory.
Centennial vs Mater Dei. 63-53
Here is where the Cinderella story was supposed to end. Playing against perennial rivals and the usually more successful (just being honest!) Monarchs of Santa Ana, Dawson scored 24 and McCain had 14, but it was the defense that led the way. The Huskies grinded out the win, taking a number of charges against Kentucky-bound Devin Askew. The lion-manned Askew plays a physical style, but was clearly outplayed by Dawson and his lead-by-example approach.
Centennial vs. Bishop Gorman. 71-55
Playing at the home court of the #5 ranked nationally Gaels (ballislife.com), this was another mighty test of unity and determination. Dawson led the way with a game high 27 points and a number of role players stepped up at key moments to ensure the victory.
Paris Dawson was named MVP of the tournament, while Dawson, Jared McCain and Fred Dybala were all named to the tournament team.