After playing one of its best games of the season on Friday, the Ankeny Centennial boys’ basketball team looked like a different squad less than 24 hours later.
The eighth-ranked Jaguars dropped a 52-48 decision to visiting Dowling Catholic in a CIML Conference game on Saturday afternoon. The Maroons, who swept the season series, were coming off a 65-60 loss to a seven-win Urbandale team on Friday.
Centennial, meanwhile, was unable to sustain its momentum after dominating No. 10 Waukee Northwest, 49-35, one night earlier.
“It was a frustrating and disappointing one,” said Centennial coach Bob Fontana. “As good as we were Friday night, we were almost the opposite today. We had way too many mental mistakes, and Dowling probably got the vast majority of the 50/50 balls. We got into some foul trouble, and we didn’t knock down some open shots, either.”
Chase Schutty had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Jaguars, who dropped to 9-6 in the conference and 14-6 overall. Dowling improved its records to 7-9 and 9-11.
Centennial’s Luke Winkel added 12 points, four assists and two steals, but he made only 3-of-12 shots from the field.
“He just had a rough shooting night,” Fontana said.
Despite its offensive struggles, Centennial still had a chance to win the game at the end. But the breaks just didn’t go the Jaguars’ way.
“We scored to take the lead with under a minute to go, but there was a late whistle and they called a foul on Isaac Runchey and took the basket away,” Fontana said. “But that play didn’t determine the outcome of the game.”
The Jaguars also had an opportunity to pull away in the first half, but Dowling refused to let that happen.
“There were three times when we had five-point leads, and we gave up offensive boards for baskets,” Fontana said. “We weren’t nearly as connected as we were Friday. This was one of those games where you feel like you beat yourself with some mental mistakes.”
Ridik Meton led Dowling with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He went 2-of-6 from 3-point range.
Centennial will host a non-conference game against Winterset (13-8) on Monday. That game will not have an impact on the Class 4A rankings and substate brackets, which will be announced earlier in the day.
The Jaguars appear to be right on the bubble of receiving a No. 1 seed.
“I would say now it’s 50-50,” Fontana said. “I just hope the state does a good job of splitting up the CIML teams.”