Suffocating defense lifts Centennial girls past Arbor View

Centennial’s girls basketball team had trouble getting its offense untracked Monday.

The Bulldogs had no such problem with their defense.

Second-ranked Centennial limited host Arbor View to 5-of-34 shooting in the first three quarters and forced 32 turnovers en route to a 74-40 rout of the Aggies.

“Defensively we played them differently the second time than we did the first time,” said Centennial coach Karen Weitz, whose team clinched the Northwest League title Monday and swept the season series with Arbor View after an 88-62 win in the first meeting. “They have some talent on that team, and you have to respect their players.”

Through three quarters, the No. 7 Aggies had more turnovers (27) and almost as many personal fouls (16) as they had points (19). Arbor View went through a nearly 10-minute span in the first half without a field goal and was 1 of 13 from the field in the third quarter.

Centennial’s offense wasn’t sharp out of the gates, either.

The Bulldogs (25-2, 7-0 Northwest) led 10-7 after one quarter and 29-16 at halftime despite shooting 12 of 38 from the field with 16 turnovers in the first half.

“We just made poor decisions a lot of times at the beginning of the game,” Weitz said. “The only thing we were scoring on were set plays.”

A 24-3 third-quarter burst put the game away.

“When they play together, they play well,” Weitz said. “When you get in (the locker room) sometimes at halftime and you can just settle the kids down and regroup them on the stuff we do in practice. Sometimes that just cures it.”

Justice Ethridge had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Sarah Kruthaupt scored all 14 of her points in the second half for Centennial, which had a 59-36 rebounding edge.

Karina Brandon and Alex Dockery each had 10 points, and Jayden Eggleston grabbed 15 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who will chase their fifth straight Sunset Region title in next week’s playoffs.

Janae Strode scored 12 and Ariona Gill 10 for Arbor View (17-9, 5-2), which had its streak of two straight Northwest titles halted and will be the league’s No. 2 seed for the postseason.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at or 702-387-5230.