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LUNENBURG – The old saying “It is hard to beat an opponent three times in a row,” could not have been more true when the Central Chargers hosted Cumberland Monday night in the Conference Playoff opener.
Despite having won two times in the regular season in close contests against Central, Cumberland was the lower seed and traveled to Central for this post season game. With a huge and loud crowd, the Chargers played one of their best halves of the season after halftime and got a 76-49 win.
The game was close early on with Cumberland holding an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. Central got good early play from LJ Watson, Daryl Jones and Tylik Thomas to keep the game close. In the second quarter, Central grabbed a 36-31 lead behind the inside presence of center Raymond Alexander who poured in 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
The second half started with a Cumberland run that tied the game briefly, but a technical foul on Cumberland ignited the home crowd and home team. This helped Central move ahead 55-44 as the teams went to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was all Central as they were drilling three pointers, making great passes inside from Ethan Hoover to Alexander and shutting down the Cumberland offense to only allow them to score 5 points the entire period.
Central was led by Alexander with 18 points and 15 rebs, while the outside trio of Watson (18 points), Jones (15 points) and Thomas (17 points) outplayed the Cumberland backcourt throughout the game.
John McGrath (3), Cary Parrish (3) and Ben Spencer (2) also added to the point total.
Central now travels to Matthews for a second round game on Wednesday.