Centralia wins its first state title

Saturday, March 20, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:46 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And Adam Hinspeter thought winning the Class 2 football championship this season was sweet.

Centralia added a Class 3 basketball statue to place next to its football trophy when it beat Maryville 41-32 to win its first state title Friday.

"When we walked off the field after we won the football statue we didn't think any feeling could be better with basketball, but after today walking off and seeing all our crowd there cheering for us, I think (the feeling) was basically equal," Hinspeter said.

The teams were tied after three quarters when Hinspeter set the tempo for the rest of the game, hitting a 3-pointer to open the fourth.

Syd Brisbane kept Maryville close by scoring two baskets in the lane to bring the Spoofhounds to within one, but Centralia hit five of their next six free throws to pull ahead.

Justin Armontrout stole the ball and drove the length of the court to seal the win with 56 seconds left.

"I didn't ever, at any time during the game, look out and say 'Oh, they're getting tired; we got them,'" Centralia coach David Meyers said.

Josh Wilmes led Maryville and scored seven of his 10 points in the first half. Wilmes also had six blocks.

Maryville controlled the tempo of the first half and led 15-14 at halftime.

"I think it was more of what they did then what we didn't do," Maryville coach Mike Kuwitzky said. "They were playing really good defense and banged on us inside."

The teams traded baskets to start the third quarter, and then Maryville opened a 25-21 lead. The Panthers had many opportunities to tie the game, but could not get a score. Grant Rosenfelder's free throws at the end of the third finally tied it to set up Hinspeter's 3-pointer.

Centralia forward Chad Thall said that the win had not yet sunk in fully.

"I've still got to go play baseball Monday," he said.

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