Big third quarter carries Lady Falcons past Mustangs 

Photo by Brian Williams  Centauri High School junior Kailyn Polzin defends Sanford’s Riley Willett during Thursday night’s non-league game at Centauri. The Falcons won 52-29. 

LA JARA — Three players scored in double-figures to lead the Centauri High School varsity girls basketball team to a resounding 52-29 win at home Thursday over rival Sanford. 

CHS senior Abbey Smith scored 13 points to lead the Falcons (6-2) to the non-league victory, followed by senior Amaya Garcia and junior Lacey Johson with 10 points apiece. Eight Falcons scored on the night. CHS has won three in a row. 

CHS coach Troy Reynolds said playing rivalry games like this is never easy. 

“This game is tough, you know the emotions, it’s always tough to get going,” Reynolds said. “A tale of two halves. First half we struggled, got into foul trouble had to go to some of our younger girls. I was proud of the way they stepped up and held it for us.” 

The game was tightly played for the first two quarters. The Falcons led 11-7 after the first quarter and took an 18-13 lead into halftime.  

Garcia scored the game’s first five points. She buried a 3-pointer from the wing to give the Falcons a 5-2 lead 2 minutes into the game. 

Mustangs senior Alyssa Edgar converted two free throws to tie the game at 5 midway through the stanza. Edgar led Sanford (3-3) in scoring with 13 points. 

Johnson broke the tie with a basket in the paint to give the Falcons a lead they would never relinquish. 

Sophomore Riley Willett made two free throws to pull the Mustangs to 13-12 with 5:26 left in the first half.  

Smith found Johnson inside for a basket to cap a 5-1 scoring spurt for CHS to end the half.  

Centauri scored nine straight to open the second half and built a 29-13 lead with 4:20 left in the third quarter.  

“In the second half we adjusted some things and started going inside with the ball more,” Reynolds said. “Our post players did a really good job of running the offense. Started hitting some shots and that changed the game for us.” 

A basket by Johnson and back-to-back treys from Smith and sophomore Hannah Curtis gave Centauri a 39-16 lead. 

The Falcons outscored the Mustangs 24-7 in the third quarter. Smith buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third-quarter barrage for CHS. 

“We went inside in the second half, got a couple of easy ones, and our shooters got going and that helped us,” Reynolds said. 

Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter. 

CHS sophomore Jocelyn Jarvies scored six points. Juniors Jaelyn Jackson and Kailyn Polzin scored four points each. Curtis finished with three points and senior Caitlin Creel finished with two points to complete the scoring. Polzin pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. 

Centauri returns to the hardwood on Jan. 6 for a non-league game against Delta (2-4). Sanford travels to Pagosa Springs (0-8) for a non-league game on Jan. 5.