CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — A truly once in a lifetime game awaits Central and Centennial on Tuesday night. No fans will be in the stands to see the two Champaign schools play for city braggin’ rights at 7:30 in the new Maroon’s new North Gym, per Unit 4 district policy. Central will play its home games there this season instead of historic Combes Gym, as renovations continue on the school.
The no spectator rule was changed on Monday by the district for both schools but won’t go into effect until next Monday, meaning the crosstown showdown will only be available for spectators to view on live stream.
The other unique element to the game is three-year Maroons’ starter Khailieo Terry suiting up for the Chargers. He switched schools before his senior season, after leading Central in scoring with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a junior. Even without him, the Maroons return five seniors, three of them starters.
“It’s just a part of the game now,” Central senior forward Diego Sanchez said of Terry going to rival Centennial. “He’s over there, there’s nothing we can do about it, we just have to focus on what we can do to lock him down and the other team down.”
“We’re excited,” Central head coach Jeff Finke said. “They know each other, obviously they’re friends, they play AAU together a few of them so it’s always a battle and it’s always an emotional game. Even without the fans we know there will be some emotions and the kids are excited to play.”