SURREY — The Centennial Centaurs have gotten enough bad news on the injury front over the past few weeks, that the Coquitlam-based squad was overdue for a CARE package from the good folks in the basketball karma department.
On Friday, on the consolation side of the fourth annual Tamanawis Wildcats Holiday Tournament, the Centaurs got it in the form of a junior varsity vacation call-up named Terry Cho.
And to put it mildly, the team may have discovered a vital part of its guard rotation going forward into next season.
Cho, who had scored 11 points in spot duty the day before in a round-one loss to No. 1-ranked Burnaby South, was given much more of a feature role on Friday, and all he did in the Centaurs’ comfortable 95-42 win over North Delta’s Sand Scorpions was pour home a game-high 28 points, 22 of which he scored in the second quarter alone.
“We were a little shorthanded for this tournament, so Terry came up and played with us for the first time this season,” said Centennial head coach Rob Sollero, whose team had lost 6-foot-7 Grade 11 forward Dominic Parolin with a broken thumb just before Christmas.
“I thought he brought a real sense of calm to our team,” added Sollero of Cho, who grew up on the Lower Mainland but had recently spent time playing in South Korea, before showing up at Centennial without an ounce of fanfare this season.
“We saw him at our school and we did’t know anything about him,” continued Sollero of Cho, who did not miss from distance in five attempts. “He ran the point really nicely, he has great vision, he distributes it well and he knocked down open shots.”
Can’t ask for much more.
As well, as Parolin continued to rest his right (shooting) hand on the bench, the Centaurs saw the return of 6-foot-6 senior Ivan Denyssevych against Sands.
“Today was just the second game in the last 10 that he has been able to play for us,” said Sollero of Denyssevych who provided a much-needed paint presence and supplied 14 points. “You can see he brings another element to us.”
The Centaurs also got 14 points from guard Leif Skelding and 13 more from fellow guard Solomon Wauye.
Yet getting back Parolin, who had quickly become one of the province’s best bigs before his injury, will be critical to the team’s success over the next few months.
“It happened at the Burnaby South tournament and were told six weeks at that time,” said Sollero of the fractured digit on Parolin’s shooting hand. “Dom is such a key part of what we do. We run so much through him.”
In a pair of consolation games Saturday, Centennial will face Fleetwood Park in a 12 p.m. tilt, while Sands will face Pitt Meadows to open the day at 10 a.m.
Fleetwood Park got 13 points apiece from Rav Randhawa, Amrit Bassi and Divjot Pataraia in a 57-34 win over Pitt Meadows.
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