Tuesday’s game was far from perfect for the Ankeny Centennial boys’ basketball team.
But the eighth-ranked Jaguars were good enough to emerge with a victory.
Centennial overcame a 36-27 rebounding disadvantage to beat visiting Southeast Polk, 64-53, for the second time this season. The final score was almost identical to last month’s 64-55 outcome at Pleasant Hill.
“We got off to a really good start,” said Centennial coach Bob Fontana. “We had a really good third quarter, too. But I thought we got a little loose at the end of the second quarter and the majority of the fourth quarter. We’ve got to clean that stuff up. Going into the postseason, you’ve got to play a complete game. So that will be a point of emphasis for the next couple of days with a tough weekend coming up.”
The Jaguars jumped out to a 20-4 lead before Southeast Polk banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter. The Rams then closed the gap to 33-24 at halftime.
Centennial pulled away to a 57-40 advantage after three periods.
“I thought our guys were really locked in at the start,” Fontana said. “It was good to see after a tough loss on Friday (at Ankeny). We got back to what we want to be.”
Luke Winkel scored 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting to lead the Jaguars. He also dished out seven assists.
Chase Schutty had 13 points, going 3-of-5 from behind the arc. He also had six rebounds and two blocks.
Joey Oakie chipped in 10 points, including a pair of treys in his team’s 13-0 run to open the game. Connor Welsch added eight points and three steals.
Bode Goodman had 18 points and three assists for Southeast Polk, which shot just 16.7 percent from 3-point range (3-of-18). Jaxen Barton contributed 14 points and nine rebounds.
Centennial improved to 8-5 in the CIML Conference and 13-5 overall. The Rams’ records dropped to 1-13 and 5-13.
The Jaguars will host No. 10 Waukee Northwest on Friday before hosting another conference game against Dowling Catholic on Saturday at 4 p.m. They will host a non-conference game against Winterset on Monday.
“If you’re fortunate enough to make it to the state tournament, you could have to play three days in a row,” Fontana said. “This will be good practice for that if we can make it that far.”
Northwest (8-7, 13-7) is riding a six-game winning streak. Like Centennial, the Wolves are battling for a No. 1 seed in a Class 4A substate tournament.
“There’s about six of us in our league that could be a 1 seed,” Fontana said. “There’s going to be some real tough 2 seeds coming out of our league as well. But there isn’t a huge difference between a 1 and a 2 because you’re going to get a bye either way.”