Preps

Wednesday, Feb 05 2014 10:47 PM

Hawks pummel Liberty in battle of SWYL unbeatens

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Ebony Grant and Liberty's Nikki Bragg go up for the rebound in their Wednesday night game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Jasmine Ramey looks for a shot as Liberty's Paxton Lozano goes to block the shot in their Wednesday game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty's Paxton Lozano trys to get past Centennial's Mallory Dawson.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Jasmine Ramey gets a pass off during their game against Liberty Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial fans seem to enjoy the girl's basketball game against Liberty Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Ebony Grant looks for a shot against Liberty Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Ebony Grant plays aggressive defense as she reaches for the ball Liberty's Nikki Bragg controls.

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  8. 8 of 15

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Ebony Grant gets the rebound but everyone seems to get a hand on it also in their game against Liberty Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial High versus Liberty High game action comes in front of the Centennial bench.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's R'leesha Gooden encounters Centennial's aggressive defense brought on by Ally Folsom Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Ally Folsom brings down a rebound and encounters the tenacious defense from Liberty's Denae Ayala, left, and R'leesha Gooden Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty's Kennedy Nielson and Centennial's Jasmine Ramey battle in their game Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty's Denae Ayala steals the ball from Centennial's Alyssa Gonzales in the 1st half of their game Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty's Denae Ayala chases down Centennial's Alyssa Gonzales in their Wednesday night game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Jasmine Ramey gets past the aggresive Liberty defense by R'leesha Gooden.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect game in basketball, but Centennial was, at the very least, complete and commanding Wednesday night at Liberty.

The Golden Hawks dominated from the opening tip to the final whistle and beat Liberty 53-20 in a battle of Southwest Yosemite League unbeatens.

"This is the first game we've put four quarters together, and that's what I've been searching for," Centennial coach Clayton Madden said.

Centennial junior Mallory Dawson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, equaling Liberty's total by herself. The Patriots (13-9, 4-1 SWYL) finished with just seven field goals.

"That's pretty impressive," Madden said. "Our defense played really well tonight."

Zharia McCollum added 10 points for the Golden Hawks (18-4, 5-0), who led 15-5 after a quarter and 30-8 just before halftime.

"They outplayed us in every aspect," Liberty coach Terrence Hubbert said. "They played harder than us. We thought we could just show up, and they came to play. They played like they wanted the game."

Centennial didn't just want the game, Dawson said. It wanted to make a statement.

"We didn't want it in their heads that they had a chance the next time we play them, either," Dawson said. "We came to play tonight to show that we know we're the best team in the league."

Nikki Bragg led Liberty with 7 points, and she added 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.

The teams end the regular season against each other at Centennial on Feb. 21. But if the Golden Hawks' improvement is any consideration, they should be considered heavy favorites in that one, too.

Centennial beat Liberty in an early-season tournament 49-28, then lost twice to Garces in another tournament the next week. Since then, the Golden Hawks -- who have just one senior on their roster and none in the starting lineup -- have won nine straight games, all but one by double digits.

"Each game, you can see the game slowing down for the girls," Madden said. "We made plays on offense and defense tonight."

 

 

 

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