Centreville opened its season Tuesday night at home against McLean, The Wildcats, Class 6 co-champions with South County last year, have already proven they’re a pretty obvious threat to repeat as state champs this year.
All 10 Wildcat players who dressed scored in a 64-25 shellacking of previously undefeated McLean. There was some rust to be sure, but Centreville demonstrated shot-blocking, pressure defense, and a diverse offensive attack–a lot of the ingredients the team will need to realize its goals again this year.
The game marked the return of Wildcats senior guard Chris Kuzemka, who missed the previous season due to an ACL injury. The athletic Kuzemka, who will play football for Virginia Tech next year, didn’t need to ease back into the flow of the game. He scored eight first quarter points en route to a team-high 16, and harassed McLean ball-handlers all night with effective on-the-ball defense.
“Getting back out there and playing in those Centreville jerseys with all my brothers again was an amazing feeling,” Kuzemka said. “I thought the defensive activity from the whole squad was great.”
Kuzemka did get plenty of support. Senior forward Avery Ford, also headed to play Division I football next year (Old Dominion), helped anchor the interior defense with a ton of blocked shots. On offense he contributed 10 points and dunked the ball three times attacking from the baseline. Fellow big man Ryan Newell also impressed with his shot-blocking, and had a great all-around game with seven points, five boards, and five assists.
The Wildcats bench was stellar, contributing 24 points. McLean (2-1) was led by Nate Legg’s 12 points and eight rebounds. Legg battled inside and drew fouls to do some damage, but the Highlanders as a whole could not often penetrate the Wildcats’ imposing front line. McLean managed only seven field goals and none from beyond the arc.
It was an encouraging first step forward for Centreville, though Kuzemka said the team has a tough stretch coming up.
“There are a lot of things to work on and improve on…but overall, I was just grateful to be back out there with the guys.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Kuzemka 2-5, Schirmer 1-3, Newell 0-1, McClain 0-1, Jones 0-2, Brown 0-3|
|Threes: Soni 0-2, Legg 0-3, Bremser 0-4|