LAWRENCE — February started like January ended for the Central Christian College men's basketball team on Wednesday.
Central, coming off a 9-0 January, shook off a slow start against Haskell for a 78-67 victory to move to 18-5 on the year with its 10th win in a row.
The No. 5-ranked Tigers were down as many as 13 in the first half before making a run to shave the lead to 37-34 by intermission.
But senior standout and all-time leading scorer Michael Gholston put the team on his back with a career-high 32 points, making a personal-record 8 3-pointers and dishing off for 7 assists.
Seniors Daniel Nwosuh and Sam Clayborn also had memorable nights as they passed the 1,000-point mark for their careers. Clayborn was the only other Tiger in double figures with 18 points.
“It was another slow start, but we found a way," CCC head coach Tony Romero said. "The positive thing about having a veteran team is that they don't panic. We did not defend well or rebound the ball well the first 12 minutes of the game and probably the first 5 or so minutes of the second half."
Romero said the Tigers can still play better despite their considerable success.
"I am glad we are finding different ways to win," he said. "I am still not enjoying our carelessness with the ball at moments and I don't think we are rebounding the ball at a level we are capable of the last week or two. A lot of positives, but still areas we need to be tighter in."
Central, whose 10-game winning streak is the school's longest in 12 years, goes to Arkansas on Saturday for a rematch with Crowley's Ridge College.
Central (78) — Gholston 32, Clayborn 18, Nwosuh 7, Warren 6, Osagie 6, Burton 5, Kuminga 4.
Haskell (67) — Sequoyah 20, Moudy 6, Elledge 7, Bruns 23, Brinson 3, CandyFire 8.
• HASKELL WOMEN 85, CENTRAL 48 — Another good night by the rapidly improving Ridglea Hearne wasn't enough for the Tigers.
Hearne had a career-high 21 points, but didn't get much help other than 12 points from Abbie Banks as the Tigers dropped to 9-11 on the season as they head to Crowley's Ridge College on Saturday in Arkansas.
I was proud of our kids tonight, regardless of what the final score was," CCC coach Chris Honeck said. "We had a couple of kids under the weather (including one that we weren't even sure would make the trip), and for three quarters, played very tough against a really good Haskell team. We didn't play well in the second quarter, but regrouped at halftime and played a much better second half."
Central (48) — Hearne 21, Banks 12, Gonzales 8, Redenbaugh 2, Floyd 2, Glessner 2, Grimaldo 1.
Haskell (85) — Murphy 6, Buffalo 2, Meat 17, Moss 8, Bonena-Reyes 28, Bates 6, Shavinga 4, Levier 5, Coriz 3, Lujan 6.