Central Spartans Fail to Advance in CIF Basketball Championship

Central Senior Saad Awan shoots for three points to aid his team in a tight match against Madison.

EL CENTRO — The El Centro Spartans boys’ basketball team matched up Tuesday against the Madison Warhawks in a semi-final CIF game that started off slow with both teams struggling to score, but finally advanced into overtime with Madison pulling out the win.

As time on the clock began to run out on the half, both teams finally began putting up points. With the game close the entire first half, Central’s Saad Awan (37 points) scored, making Central 25, Madison 13. Going into half time, the Central Spartans were able to capitalize and take the lead for the first time.

After the half, both teams came out ready to play, moving the ball around and putting up points with the lead shooting back and forth the entire second half. Central’s Brandon Argandoña made a three pointer to tie the game up when Madison answered back with points of their own from their lead scorers Terrell Carter (19 points) and Manuel Robles (10 points). At the end of the hard fight of the third quarter, the score was Central 25 and Madison 26.

Heading in to the last minutes of the fourth quarter, Central fought back to diminish Madison’s lead. With nine seconds left on the clock, Spartan Saad Awan made a three-pointer to tie up the game at 35-35. With Madison failing to score in the last seconds of the game, play continued into overtime.

In overtime, Madison scored first with two points to take the lead. With both teams scoring back and forth, the Warhawks were able to utilize their defense in order to shut down Central’s offense. This causes Central to be un able to finish and brings the final score to 55-50 Madison. With this tough and close loss, Central was eliminated from CIF play and will not advance to the championship.

“Madison is a very athletic team and knew how to use their defense to disrupt our offense,” said Spartan Head Coach Juan Valenzuela. “And there isn’t anything we could have done differently, because it is what they stopped us from doing that made them the winners tonight.”