BY GENE NARDI
The Palm Beach Central High School boys varsity basketball team traveled to cross-town rival Wellington High School on Friday, Jan. 23 to take on the Wolverines. The Wolverines won the contest 61-60 before a gymnasium filled to capacity.
No. 5-ranked Wellington started on all cylinders, catching the Broncos off guard and capitalizing on quick counterattacks to take an early 10-point lead in the first period, 16-6. The Broncos (15-7) battled back to come within seven in the second period at 21-14, and later made it a one-point game at halftime, down 25-24. Early in the third, Palm Beach Central tied it up at 27-27, then stole the lead from the Wolverines and built a 45-39 lead early in the fourth.
The Wolverines (20-3) would not go away, and clawed back, rallying with sophomore Trent Frazier scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-point baskets. The Wolverines improved on their rebound ratio and passes that proved difficult for the Broncos.
With just over three minutes to play, Wellington regained the lead, 54-53. The Broncos retaliated, and the two squads traded baskets. Wellington managed to stretch its lead to as much as five points within the three remaining minutes, but Palm Beach Central continued to pressure.
With Wellington consuming time off the clock holding on to the 61-60 lead, the Broncos got a break and took the ball up the court but failed to convert the attack into the winning score, falling short 61-60.
Javierre Betts led the Broncos with a game high of 21 points, and Kemar Downer added 14 points. Frazier had 20 points and five assists for Wellington, while Aaron Kwiatek scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds.
ABOVE: Wellington’s Alex Dieudound tries to go up for a layup as Palm Beach Central’s Gyvicht Geneus attempts to block.