LAFAYETTE — A postgame chat with Centaurus seniors Levi Rubin and Asa Wentworth mirrors the relationship they have on the court.
When asked, Rubin began to articulate how his role expanded this season as one of the faces of the program but couldn’t quite find the perfect stopping point. Wentworth chuckled beside him, “Well said.”
The two, picking each other up on and off the court, are now the lifeblood of a program that graduated its star duo of JT Lewicki and Kevin Bedford, who were part of a strong senior class that led the Warriors to state quarterfinals in 2022.
Now 2023, Rubin and Wentworth are eager to lead a program redefining its identity.
“It’s definitely a step up in the role,” said Wentworth, who is also the school’s ace golfer. “For me and Levi, last year our roles were to come in and bring the energy and go hard for however many minutes we got. Now, it’s like we got to go hard on the court but off the court lead the young guys.”
On Friday night, Centaurus (5-4, 1-0) opened play in a league doubling as an essay — the 6A/5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference — and climbed back above .500 for the first time since Dec. 9 with a 65-36 win over Greeley West.
Rubin scored 10 straight in the third quarter and finished with a career-high 15 points. Junior Zak White returned from injury and had a career-best 13, while the team’s season leader, Wentworth, continued his hot start with 12.
Off a 19-2 run to end the opening half, Ty Silver and Wentworth had successive makes before Rubin scored a dime in 2 minutes and 4 seconds of game time to push the lead to 49-20. Shortly afterward, Rubin and Wentworth went to the bench late in the frame to watch the rest of the blowout.
“Having JT (Lewicki) and Kevin (Bedford) and John McGill and Jack Downing and those kinds of kids as leaders the last couple years, it was, who is going to step up and what was that going to look like? How quickly would we gel, accept roles?” Centaurus coach Travis Maron said. “And I’ve been nothing but pleased with that piece. We’re competing like crazy.”
On Friday, “competing like crazy” led to a runaway victory against the Spartans (4-5, 0-1), who had six wins in each of their last three seasons (including the shortened COVID season).
In the second quarter, Wentworth scored five, Silver had four and White had an acrobatic three-point play as part of a 16-0 run that put the Warriors comfortably ahead. Jack Carlson’s 3 in the last 20 seconds of the frame pushed the lead to 34-15 at halftime.
It grew to as many as 34 following the break.
“This is a team,” Rubin said. “We’re not going to get as far as one man gets. If I trust everybody next to me, we’re going to be good. It’s all about knowing our identity and just coming out here and playing as hard as we can.”
Centaurus has a quick turnaround from its 7:30 p.m. start Friday with a 1 p.m. game against 4A No. 7 Resurrection Christian Saturday.