Centennial boys basketball team routs Sierra Canyon to advance to state finals – San Bernardino Sun

CORONA — “They have not seen the effort we are going to bring.”

Those were just a few of the words Centennial boys basketball coach Josh Giles wrote on the locker room whiteboard prior to Tuesday night’s big showdown against Sierra Canyon.

The Huskies put those words into action come game time. Centennial sank three 3-pointers to grab a quick lead, never trailed and rolled to an 83-59 victory in the CIF State Open Division regional final.

Centennial (32-1) has won 29 straight games and has beaten eight straight opponents by at least 20 points. The Huskies will look to win the program’s first state championship on Saturday night, when they face Modesto Christian (29-5) at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

“This has been an unbelievable group to coach,” Giles said moments after the victory. “The only problem with this is that it comes to an end one way or another Saturday.”

It was the most anticipated boys basketball game in the state this season, but Centennial threatened to make it a blowout early. Ramsey Huff, the team’s defensive specialist, drained a pair of 3-pointers and Jared McCain hit another to give the Huskies a quick 9-0 lead.

Giles was pleased with the strong start, but it also caused him to worry a little bit.

“That can be the kiss of death,” Giles said. “I was starting to think to myself, ‘gosh darn it, I hope we didn’t make all our shots in the first 30-40 seconds of the game.’”

Huff sank two more 3s during the first half and finished with a game-high 20 points.

“I came out and felt really confident with my shot,” Huff said. “I just let it fly.”

Huff led another balanced offensive attack by the Huskies. Devin Williams scored 19 points, 15 of those coming in the second half. Donovan Dent finished with 18 points, and Jared McCain added 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

“That’s the good team mindset that we have,” Dent said. “We know we have many players who can step it up when it really matters. That makes it difficult for our opponents.”

Sierra Canyon (26-5) bounced back from the slow start, and got within 23-19 early in the second quarter. Centennial got a little 3-point happy in the second quarter, but the Huskies were able to answer back with a 15-5 run to close out the first half.

Amari Bailey started to heat up in the third quarter, but Sierra Canyon struggled to get stops at the other end. Williams knocked down two 3-pointers to extend Centennial’s lead to 54-34 with 2:23 left in the third quarter. The Huskies led 60-41 heading to the final period.

Sierra Canyon cut the deficit to 13 points with 6:24 remaining in the game, but that would be the closest the Trailblazers got. McCain sank a 3-pointer with 5:54 left on the clock, and Williams drained the team’s 11th 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining.

Bailey and Isaiah Elohim scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, to lead Sierra Canyon. Mike Price added 11 points for the Trailblazers.

Centennial delivered another strong effort on defense, holding Sierra Canyon to its fourth-lowest point total of the season. The Trailblazers made just 23 of 63 shots (36.5%), and Centennial finished the game with nine blocked shots.

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