Central High School boys' basketball came to Columbia Central Friday night undefeated, having won its first five games. That streak would come to an end, with the Lions sending the Red Raiders back to Manchester with a 79-65 defeat.
Columbia took the lead early in the first and didn't surrender it over the course of the next three quarters. After a 13-3 Lions run to open the game, Kyle Farless hit two points with an and one to boot, helping the Raiders begin to climb back. By the first quarter's close, the Raiders were looking up at a 25-19 Columbia lead.
After the Lions again jumped out offensively at the top of the second quarter, Josh Perry hit a jumper to help spur the Raiders' offense back to life. CHS stayed close over the remainder of the half, with a shot from Shawn Anderson bringing the Raiders' deficit to 44-37 heading into the third quarter.
Early in the second half, the boys slimmed Columbia's lead to 46-42 off a quick five points from Jaxon Vaughn. This was the closest CHS would come, with the Lions breaking away for a 61-46 lead at the close of the quarter.
The boys were unable to bring the deficit to below double digits over the remainder of the game, finishing 14 points behind their opponent.
Turnovers and defensive pressure were an issue for the team, as Columbia had several rebound opportunities that turned into baskets. Coach Micah Williams was unavailable for comment after the game.
Anderson led the Raiders with 17 points, followed by Darius Rozier at 15. Vaughn finished the game with 11 points. Andrew Mahaffey hit seven points on the night, with Harley Hinshaw right behind at six. Farless knocked in five points on the night. Perry and CJ Anthony each had two.