Defense pacing a state playoff run for Central
Take a glance at the Central High School boys basketball team’s roster and it will be rare to find a loss. In fact, in the 27 games they’ve played this year they’ve only lost five times.
Consistency has been the key to their success this season. They’ve only lost back-to back-games once this season and that was to Westside and Northeast, two intra-city foes. Other than those consecutive losses, the Chargers have been able to solve whatever puzzle put in front of them.
Head coach Andre Taylor has preached a consistent team philosophy since the beginning of the year which has helped a squad full of new contributors jell in a relatively short time.
“So many players have contributed,” Taylor said early in the season. “So I hate praising two and not all.”
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But two have emerged this season to lead the charge for the Chargers. Senior forward Kylan Hill has averaged 18 points and almost 11 rebounds per game this season and senior guard Tymir Robinson has averaged 20 points and 6 rebounds in his 11 games this season according to Maxpreps.
This season, the biggest star for Central has been the defense. Taylor knew that this team would have to win differently from last season’s free-scoring style.
“We don’t have that offensive firepower so we are going to have to play defense and keep the point totals down for our opponent,” Taylor said.
The Charges are holding opponents to 53.8 points per game while averaging 61 points per game. In their 22 wins, Central is holding opponents to 51.8 points per game. That makes it extremely difficult for teams to beat them.
Many coaches believe that defense is the one thing that always travels well. It doesn’t matter how you are shooting, if you play good defense you can give yourself a chance to win. Central took that defense into the regional playoffs and held their opponents to under 50 points per game en route to the tournament championship.
In the first round of the 3A state tournament they held Beach to 39 points. At 6 p.m. Thursday, they will play their second round opponent. Long County. which slipped by Dougherty 86-85. It should be a challenge to see if the Chargers can shut down this next opponent.