By: Caio Miari
Dieu Merci Betoukoumessou and Josh Sales with 12 points each led the Centennial Colts men's basketball team to a 77-57 win over the La Cite Coyotes at Progress Campus Friday night.
They were two of the four Colts' players to reach double-digit points in the game. And their contributions did not stop there.
While Sales added three steals and four rebounds, Merci contributed with a game-high eight boards. The Toronto native was a significant piece in Centennial outscoring La Cite, 36-22, inside the paint.
"His (Betoukoumessou's) leadership on the court was huge for us," head coach Trevor Challenger said about Betoukoumessou in his post-game availability. "I thought he rebounded the ball well, (and) changed a lot of shots in the paint."
Challenger also praised his team's collective effort.
"I think the guys played great, especially on the defensive end," he said. "They were active, giving hands in the passing lanes, (and) rebounded the ball on some missed shots that led to transition points."
Sales seems to agree with his coach on the Colts' (2-2) triumph.
"We played really well today; we came out punching," said the second-year point guard. "We came out with energy, which was something we were struggling with during the season."
"He's a big contributor to our offence and defence. And when he's hitting shots, it makes all of our jobs easier," Sales said about Herbert, who played 36 minutes, shooting 6-of-10 from the field.
With three double-figures starters and 29 points off the bench, the Colts overcame Kyrin Henlin's season-low seven points. Henlin, though, put up seven rebounds and two steals through 30 minutes played.
For the visitors, they had four players that scored in double figures, topped by Olgaga Diba's game-high 16.
"I think the biggest problem in the last couple of games was that the ability to complete all four quarters," Challenger said. "And I think this game here we had maybe two quarters that were perfect."
The home side had a slow start, trailing 10-4 in the first five minutes of the game. However, that didn't stand for the rest of the action, with Centennial setting the tone afterwards.
The Colts finished the first quarter in a 13-3 run that gave them a four-point lead into the first period. They never trailed again.
Centennial extended its advantage in the second period to nine points (33-24). Despite the Coyotes' (3-1) 9-0 run to tie the action at 33 two minutes into the second half, Herbert's six third quarter points put his team back on track to enter the fourth quarter up 53-43.
La Cite cut the Centennial lead to six at 58-52 with just over five minutes to go but a 19-5 run to end the game, highlighted by Quinton Paul's first triple of the season, gave the Colts the 20 point victory.
"This is just the start; we need to keep it going," Betoukoumessou said about the positive result.
After getting a win on forfeit due to an ineligible player against the George Brown Huskies on Oct. 18 and dominating their home contest Friday night, the Colts will look for their third win of the season as they face the Algonquin Thunder tomorrow afternoon at the AWC at 3:00pm.