ROSWELL, Ga. — Cambridge’s performance against Centennial Friday night further showed they are the team to beat in Region 7-AAAAAA. In a battle of two teams at the top of the region standings, the Bears led throughout on their way to a 75-51 win on the road.
“I was pleased with the effort on both sides of the court,” Cambridge head coach Chip Flemmer said. “[Centennial] has a lot of size and is a really good team. That concerned us with some mismatch issues but we said we are going to fight and they did a good job of that.”
The Knight’s 6-foot-10 junior center Rodney Howard led Centennial in scoring with 14 points, but Cambridge’s tight defense under the net, led by Kyler Ingram, Caleb Lucas and David Banks contested nearly all of Howard’s looks.
The Bears offense was led by a standout performance from junior guard Kamar Robertson who netted 24, including shooting 66 percent from beyond the arc.
Following Robertson with nine points was Ingram who added seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Bryce Boutelle and Banks added nine to Caleb Lucas’ eight. Matthew Cleveland also had impressive production off the bench with eight points.
The matchup’s high intensity lasted throughout the game, with players from both sides jawing and instigating even after the Bears had extended their lead to 20 late in the third period.
“You can tell both teams wanted it.,” Flemmer said. “Everybody played their tail off and you can tell emotions were getting a little high. We told our guys to keep their heads for four quarters.”
Centennial’s Howard and senior guard Jahlen Jack both spent significant minutes on the bench. Jack finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Cambridge remained unbeaten in region play with the win and sits two games in front of the Knights and Pope. And though the Bears have solidified themselves as the frontrunner to take the No. 1 seed into the region tournament, Flemmer said he knows there are multiple challenging games for his team in the next month.
“We know it’s a long season and we’re going to see [Centennial] again and that’s not going to be an easy game,” he said.
The Knights (6-9, 5-3) loss was the second straight in region. In three nights, Centennial had to play two of the top three teams in the region in Pope and Cambridge, falling in both contests. They will travel to face North Atlanta (8-8, 4-4) Jan. 9.
Cambridge will seek to continue their winning streak against Chattahoochee (6-8, 3-4) next Tuesday.
Centennial bounced back from their 50-37 loss to Pope on Thursday to improve to 6-2 in region play with a lopsided win over the Bears. Behind a strong performance from Florida Gulf Coast commit Shekina Guthrie, the Knights downed Cambridge 56-36 Friday night.
Guthrie led all scorers with 16 points and added six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. The Knights’ Aerial Nathan netted 13.
Cambridge junior Audrey Smith recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Centennial (9-6, 6-2) remains in third in the region, following Alpharetta (13-1, 7-1) and Northview (11-4, 6-1). The Knights take on Northview in their next game Jan. 12.
Cambridge fell to 3-5 in region play and will be back in action against Chattahoochee and Pope next week.