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Offensive Explosion Spurs Centurions to Big Win

By Scott Lemon, Yellowstone Christian College SID

BILLINGS, MT — The Yellowstone Christian College Centurion men’s basketball team started off their season with a bang, topping the Fort Peck Community College Buffalo Chasers 145-62 on Friday night.

Sophomore Stefan Tellis led the charge with 20 points, dished out three assists, and swiped two passes. Overall, six players were in double digits for the Centurions, including Tellis. Aaron Munday-Rashid had 17, Aleksandar Brankovic and Abraham Nyok each had 16, Fabricio Daher Valdivia had 15, and Taylan Barrett had 13 points to go along with 10 assists for his first collegiate double-double.

“I started to just have fun,” said Barrett, a true freshman from Toronto. “We focused on chemistry to kick off the season. Coach tells me to play hard and do my part and I did that.”

“By no means are we satisfied. It was good to see our guys play against someone else, but we feel like we accomplished some things tonight, but not everything we wanted to,” said YCC Head Coach Leonard Epps. “We’re still not disciplined as a team. I want us to take pride in our defense. It shouldn't look as sloppy as it did tonight.”

As the first game of the season, Epps and his staff saw this result as an evaluation to where the team stacked up. “I thought Taylan played very well. He was very active on the glass. Reagan played multiple positions and was a good leader on defense. Aaron, we knew what we were gonna get out of him. He’s a high-flyer; he had a lot of dunks, he’s fast. Overall, I was impressed with what our team did tonight,” said Epps.

However, Epps remained steadfast in his desire for more. “We’re definitely not gonna overlook Dickinson, but we’ve set our sights high this year. We break down to ‘Championship’ every day at practice and we expect to compete at that level. Dickinson is a lot bigger than us, but we’re looking forward to the challenge as a whole. It’ll let us know where we stand against teams of that level.” Barrett echoed his coach’s desire to compete at the highest level this season. “We expect to win a championship. That’s it,” Barrett said with a smile.

Fort Peck was led in scoring by Les Ogle, who racked up 28 points, most of which came from behind the three-point arch. Alex Lone Bear joined Ogle in double digits with 13 of his own.

The Centurions host Dickinson State University on Sunday afternoon at The Shrine Auditorium. For more information about the season and for full game recaps, visit www.gocenturions.com.

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