Lakeview Gym was packed with pink on Tuesday night for Centerville’s annual Coaches vs Cancer game. The Redettes would pick up a 67-41 victory in their regular season finale over their neighbors south of the boarder in Putnam County.
The night was dedicated to former Centerville teacher and basketball supporter Barb Hawkins as she continues her battle with cancer. It was a great turnout by both team’s fans as they prepared for a night of giving and basketball.
“Great night with a lot of people here, get to support the Hawkins crew and I thought our kids did what we needed to do to finish out the regular season,” Centerville head coach Nic Belloma said.
Centerville came out locked in, jumping out to a 10-2 run behind some great defensive plays. The Redettes eventually ended the first quarter with 21-7 lead behind 11 points in the quarter from Claire Mathews alone on her way to a game-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting with three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Putnam County had trouble with Centerville’s speed in the first half as the Redettes ran up and down the court, moving the ball well on their way to a 40-15 halftime advantage.
“That first half of basketball I thought was one of the best halves we’ve played,” Belloma said. “Everybody was playing together, doing their part and not worrying about who’s getting buckets. All and all, nice ball game for us.”
Belloma was able to empty his bench with the running clock. It was a special moment for freshmen Rhegan McDanolds and Breckyn Carney, who both recently were given varsity jerseys after spending the season on the junior varsity squad.
McDanolds and Carney both saw their first varsity action and both got on the scoresheet with McDanolds even knocking down a three.
Three-pointers were extra special on the night since Centerville was offering a pledge where people would donate $3 for every made three during the night by both teams. It was just one of several different ways people could donate for the good cause against cancer.
“It’s an awesome night for our kids and our community to come out and rally together against a common enemy,” Belloma said. “It hits pretty close to home. I lost my mom at 45 to breast cancer, coach Moore lost his mother and coach Lawson lost her grandmother to cancer. Obviously it affects us all and the whole community so it’s just awesome to see everybody rally together.”
Centerville (15-6) now prepares for the postseason as they prepare for their regional quarterfinal game against Chariton (7-12) at Lakeview Gym on Saturday at 5 p.m.