CENTER, TX (KTRE) - The Center Roughriders sent the home fans home with smiles as they took out top-ranked, and defending 4A State Champion, Silsbee.
Center ISD officials had to stop selling tickets to the game a little under 10 minutes before tip off. It was the only time 5th ranked Center would see Silsbee this year unless the two make it to the state finals.
Both teams came out hot in the game and neither team was able to get momentum. Every time Center would get up by more than one basket, Silsbee would answer back. The two went into the half tied at 35. The second half was a similar story. The game would come down to the end. After Center hit two free throws to take the 76-74 lead, Silsbee was unable to score and Center regained the ball and took the clock down to 1 second. With little time left, Silsbee took a desperation shot but it would not fall.
"It was real live," Kaleb Parks said. "It gave us a boost to go hard."
Parks came up with several big plays and believes Center deserves to jump to the top of the 4A rankings.
"We got something to prove," Parks said. "We should be the number one team in the state."We are the top dog. We got to keep going."
Head Coach Hiram Harrison was at a lost for words as his players celebrated with their fellow classmates.
"They deserve this," Harrison said. "They worked hard and they played hard."Center has been good to us and I am just proud they came out and supported these kids."
Center will now move on to host Hudson on Dec. 21 with the Freshman starting at 11 am. After they they close out 2017 at the Whataburger Tournament.