Guard Andre Bell scored 22 points as the Centennial College Colts defeated the Loyalist College Lancers 76-53 in men’s basketball on Wednesday night in Unionville.
Anthony Burnett added 14 as the Colts, playing their home games this season at Bill Crothers High School, improved to 1-1 with the win.
It was a role reversal for Centennial from last week’s loss, as this time they dominated the first half en route to victory.
“Their guards weren’t very strong on the ball, so when we pressured them, they turned it over,” Centennial head coach Jim Barclay said.
“We also had a lot better of an offensive game [than last week]. We shot the ball better. Better defence, better offence makes for a better game.”
Centennial took control of the contest early on, going on a 14-4 run to start the game. The Lancers fought back with a 12-4 streak of their own to bring it to within two, but it wouldn’t last long.
Eldridge Masuka hit a three-pointer to up the lead to 21-16 and moments later, he stole the ball and reached around a trio of defenders to set up Christian Casimier, who easily made the basket.
Those strong plays led the Colts on a 22-2 run that spanned seven and a half minutes to put them up 43-21 at the half. The smaller but quicker Centennial squad used the fast break to its advantage.
“I look at us as being generally faster than their team, so if they’re going to make turnovers, we’ll push the ball and try and get a good shot,” Barclay said.
“A few turnovers, a few fast-breaks, nothing wrong with the running game.”
Oneil Lawrence led Loyalist scorers with 12 points and Trevor Mayer added 10. Rakeem Reynolds chipped in with nine, his contributions coming almost exclusively from the free-throw line.
“Last time we played them, [Mayer] really hurt us badly,” Barclay said. “So this time, we really matched on him when he was in the game to try and take him out of the game.”
The Colts continued to have a balanced attack led by Bell, who made six field goals, all of them from beyond the arc.
As the team pulled into a big second half lead, many of the bench players saw more minutes. 10 different Colts figured into the stat sheet on the night.
Despite the sound victory, Barclay was not letting his charges lapse mentally. During the game he continued to emphasize good team play, and to avoid any kind of showboating.
The only acceptable form of highlight reel material was Immanuel Wint’s first half dunk, a play that energized his teammates.
And even with a 23-point victory on Wednesday night, Barclay knows his team still needs to get better.
“There’s lots of things we need improvement on,” Barclay said. “We still have to play better defence, cut down on the hacking fouls, and rebound better.
“To be good, we have to improve at everything.”