Las Vegas Sun

July 18, 2019

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high school basketball:

Best ever? Centennial girls win another championship, add to legacy

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Steve Marcus

Centennial Bulldogs girls basketball players celebrate after defeating Bishop Gorman High School for their fifth consecutive title during the Class 4A high school basketball championship at the Orleans Arena Friday, March 1, 2019.

This could be the best girls high school basketball team in Nevada history.

Centennial put the finishing touches tonight on another dominating season by downing Bishop Gorman in the state championship game at the Orleans Arena, a convincing 78-47 victory for the Bulldogs’ fifth straight state championship. This title, though, was different because Centennial was rarely challenged.

The Bulldogs' closest margin of victory against a Nevada opponent was 27 points, and in a three-game week in early February, Centennial won by scores of 81-7, 77-8 and 84-8.

And, yet, it didn’t appear that way Thursday night in the state semifinals.

The Bulldogs, in arguably the most surprising result in recent state tournament history, trailed Desert Oasis 26-7 after the first quarter. Still, they wound up winning by 31, only yielding 22 points the rest of the game.

“People kept wanting to know what I said to them (after poor start against Desert Oasis),” Centennial coach Karen Weitz said. “I didn’t have to say anything to them. They weren’t too happy with themselves.”

Centennial, which is also ranked in the top-5 nationally, finished with a 31-1 record. It outscored opponents — including game against national competition in out of state events — by an average of 42 points.

The success is a testament to the roster, where all five starters — and many reserves — have Division I scholarship offers. The biggest challenge, you can argue, was against each other in practice.

So, does that make them the best all-time? Or even the best Centennial team of all-time? This, after all, was the program’s 11th title.

“Everyone asks me that,” Weitz said. “I can tell you this, I think this has to be the deepest team. When you think about our bench, how many people can say they have a high school basketball team with three Division I subs?”

They closed the game against Gorman on a 22-8 scoring run to make one last statement in regards to their legacy. One by one in the final minutes, Weitz subbed out some of her key starters — point guard Melanie Isbell and forward Eboni Walker — and replaced them with a new batch of players pegged to continue the dynasty.