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September 23, 2014

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high school basketball:

Centennial beats Palo Verde again to capture Northwest crown, No. 1 playoff seed

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Sam Morris

Centennial’s Marcus Allen reacts after dunking on Palo Verde during their game Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 at Palo Verde. Centennial won the game 67-64.

Prep Sports Now

Sizing up the final week of the regular season

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer are back to talk basketball with another edition of Prep Sports Now. They wrap up the regular season and preview some of the matchups in next week's first round of the playoffs.

The Centennial High basketball team won the Northwest Division title Friday, beating rival Palo Verde 71-65 to earn the league’s No. 1 seed in next week’s Sunset Regional playoffs.

Last year, Centennial also won the Northwest and advanced to the Sunset Regional semifinals game before falling to Sierra Vista.

The accomplishment of capturing consecutive Northwest titles isn’t lost on the Bulldogs’ players. And, beating Palo Verde twice in the same season, is definitely icing on the cake.

“The kids were ecstatic. They worked so hard for this,” coach Todd Allen said. “They are so coachable. It makes our job as coaches that much easier. To beat Palo Verde, which is a great program, twice is a big thing for us.”

Marcus Allen scored a game-high 24 points for Centennial, while brother Malcolm Allen added 19 points. Neiman Lee added 12 points.

Centennial (23-3 overall, 14-2 Northwest) will host Spring Valley at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the regional quarterfinals. Spring Valley is the No. 4 seed from the Southwest Division, concluding the regular season Friday with a victory against Desert Oasis for a 10-6 league record.

Palo Verde (17-5, 12-4), which lost its final two league games, falls to the No. 3 seed and will open the playoffs Wednesday at Southwest No. 2 Clark in what is arguably the most interesting quarterfinal game.

Clark twice this winter has given power Bishop Gorman a competitive game, while Palo Verde is one of the top teams in town and could have won the Northwest with a victory against Centennial.

In the Sunset Region’s other quarterfinal games, defending regional champion Gorman (23-4, 16-0) is the No. 1 seed from the Southwest and will host Northwest No. 4 Cimarron-Memorial. Also, Northwest No. 2 Legacy will host Southwest No. 3 Durango.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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