Brown, Centennial Sneak Past Knightdale

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Though it wasn't the team's prettiest game, N.C. State commit Lorenzo Brown and his Centennial High School team snuck out a win over Knightdale High School in the GSK Invitational to advance to Tuesday's championship.

Though it wasn't the team's prettiest game, N.C. State commit Lorenzo Brown and his Centennial High School team snuck out a win over Knightdale High School in the GSK Invitational to advance to Tuesday's championship.

Brown led his team with 17 points and seven rebounds, but had to sit out nearly half of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble.

Centennial broke out of the gates with a lead but Knightdale climbed back in it, even taking the lead once in the third quarter and again the fourth before Centennial finally pulled away, winning the game 65-62.

"It was ugly, but we'll take it any way we can get it," Centennial coach Allen Whitehart said. "They were a very, very scrappy team and I feel like they probably played harder than we did. So we were fortunate to get out of here with a victory."

Both Whitehart and Brown admitted that they were surprised by Knightdale, and Whitehart even confessed that his team was probably looking past the Knights to Sunday's championship game. But he was quick to credit Brown's leadership, both on the court and in the huddle with keeping his players motivated through the fourth quarter.

"The kids just dug down. It has a lot to do with the leadership coming from Lorenzo," Whitehart said. "He provided leadership in the huddle and was trying to pull the guys together and help them."

Brown said his team started out sluggishly on the defensive end. But a turnaround in fourth quarter keyed Centennial's win.

"We played sloppy defense to begin with, but we picked it up towards the end and that helped us out," Brown said.

This is the first appearance in the Glaxo Tournament for Whitehart, Brown and Centennial. And the fact that the team finds itself in the championship is an aspect indicative of the program that Whitehart credits Brown for.

"We're building and Lorenzo's been one of the cornerstones of that building. He came in with me and we really turned the program around. It's not me, it's really the kids, especially him," Whitehart said. "He's one of the hardest working kids I've ever seen and those kudos go to Lorenzo and the kids around him."

Centennial will face Ravenscroft and Duke-commit Ryan Kelly in Sunday's Bracket 2 Championship game, and though Brown has yet to see Ravenscroft, he said he's looking forward to the challenge.

"Haven't seen them play yet -- I'm hoping to watch some film and get some ideas."


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