Tony Duran scored 31 points to spoil coach Jim Barclay’s Centennial College debut as the Fleming College Knights downed the Colts 89-68 at Bill Crothers High School in Unionville on Wednesday.
Last year’s first-team all-star connected on eight three-pointers as Duran dictated play for most of the night.
It was his play and fellow 2009 all-star Jermaine Duke that had Barclay’s team reeling at times.
“It’s our first game [and] they’re an experienced playoff team,” Barclay said. “They’re probably ranked first or second in our division.”
Jovain Wilson added 21 points and Duke blocked four shots for the Knights on the way to their victory.
Guard Andre Bell led the Colts with 17 points, as part of a balanced Centennial attack.
But it was two large runs by Fleming in the first half that set the game on its course.
The Knights began the contest on a 15-0 run and Barclay called two time-outs during that stretch, but it didn’t help. Not until 3:38 into the game did Centennial find the basket for the first time.
After the Colts went on a 17-4 run of their own to bring the game to within two, the Knights put together a 23-1 stretch that had them leading 42-18 at one point.
Without those two runs by Fleming, Centennial outscored the Knights.
“If it wasn’t for the bad start, the first five or six minutes, and about seven or eight minutes just before halftime, we’re in it.” Barclay said.
Passing skills strong
Fleming kept their starters in for most of the game, and their superior passing skills left Barclay’s defence in a knot.
“They got way too many second chances on us,” Barclay said. “[They had] guys driving right to the basket without anybody stepping up, that hurt.
“We blocked one or two shots and they blocked about eight. It makes a big difference.”
Six different Knights hit three-pointers, as the team connected on 17 over the evening.
“They have some very fine shooters, and even though we talked about not letting those guys get open, talking about it and execution is not always the same thing,” Barclay said.
“They get excited about doing something, and they’re supposed to stay there and see something happen. They go away and the ball comes back.
“If they’d stayed there like we told them to, [Fleming] wouldn’t have gotten that many shots on us.”
Wilson led the Knights from the foul line, going seven-for-8, all in the first half. Both teams went 10-for-16 for 63 per cent at the charity stripe.
Second half dunk
The highlight of the second half was Wilson’s slam dunk, where he got just high enough on a clean break to drop the ball in.
Teammate Orlando Palmer had a longer hang-time, but did so without the ball and consequently was given a foul.
Bell started the Colts on the right track in the second half, nailing a three-pointer. He scored a pair of free throws shortly after, but a defensive breakdown led to an 11-0 run by Fleming that quashed any comeback hopes for Centennial.
Fleming led 50-29 at half-time.
Other than the first half run, Centennial didn’t have any large scoring spurts. Fleming continued a steady stream of putting points on the board, not allowing the Colts to get back into the game.