Centennial falls to Madison 59-50
6A Boys Basketball
GRESHAM — It had been six years since John Poetsch coached a game for the Centennial Eagles.
The veteran head coach — who spent 12 seasons with Centennial (1999-2011) and three seasons with Reynolds (2011-2014) — came back to the sideline for the Eagles after a three-year coaching hiatus.
It was not the return Poetsch was hoping for.
Centennial's turnovers and lack of defensive rebounding came back to bite them in the end as the Eagles fell to Madison 59-50 on Friday night.
Centennial lost eight seniors off last year's team, including all five starters. But despite having to restock the shelf for this season, Poetsch was pleased with what he saw from his squad in the jamboree on Wednesday night against high-quality teams like West Linn and Lincoln, so he was surprised that the Eagles played so tentatively against Madison in their season opener.
"I was a little shocked to see us come out with the nerves and have unforced turnovers," Poetsch said. "(We) had lots of mental errors, which is somewhat understandable when you have a bunch of inexperienced guys…Hopefully we can take away some learning points from this. That's what preseason games are all about."
David Kunda — arguably the top returning player for Centennial — led the Eagles with 18 points and Thomas Anderson was also in double-figures with 11 — including 3-for-5 (.600) shooting from beyond the arc. Madison's Mujeeb Rufai led all scorers with 27.
"Definitely a disappointing loss," Kunda said. "We had a lot of mental breakdowns and didn't communicate like we were supposed to…We just got to move on."