Rams remain perfect in league with a 53-43 home win

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Central Catholic's La'Mar Winston fights his way to the hoop during Tuesday's 53-43 win over Reynolds. Central Catholic put a strong hold on the Mount Hood Conference boys basketball race with a 53-43 home win over Reynolds on Tuesday night.

The Rams turned away several threats along the way and never trailed in the game.

The Raiders pulled even at 16-16 late in the first half only to have the Rams go on a flurry before the break.

Cole Stringer drained a 3-pointer from the corner. Reynolds tried to answer with a long ball of its own, but the ball clipped the back of the rim and landed in the hands of Central’s Deante Strickland, who went the length of the court to beat the buzzer with a layup that sent the Rams to the locker room with a 22-16 lead.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Central Catholic coach Dan Munson directs traffic from the sideline.

Reynolds point guard Cody Starr brought his team back with a series of incredible passes to start the second half. The most impressive display came when he went behind the back and between the legs to beat full-court pressure defense. That opened the lane for teammate Somto Aniefuna's three-point play, which sliced the margin to a single point.

The Rams responded with Strickland converting a four-point play on a deep shot from in front of Central’s bench. The Rams pushed their lead to 36-29 entering the fourth quarter.

The Raiders would make it a five-point game with 3:25 to play after Jaylen Edwards split a pair of defenders to reach the front of the rim, but that was as close as Reynolds would get.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Central Catholic post player Patrick Myers fights through a double-team to score two of his 10 points Tuesday night.

Strickland made a steal out of a double-team effort at halfcourt and took the ball the distance for a layup and a 45-36 lead as the clock rolled under three minutes.

He sealed the victory by going 7 for 8 at the free-throw line down the stretch.

Strickland led all players with 21 points, while teammate Patrick Myers added 10.

Center Drew Eubanks led the Raiders with 12 points.

Central Catholic (10-9) holds a two-game lead at the halfway point of the MHC schedule, heading into Friday’s game at Gresham.

View a photo gallery from the game at …

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