Los Angeles Preps: Long Beach State

Centennial trio rivals the best of any around

January, 23, 2011
1/23/11
1:05
AM PT
Centennial High School basketball playersCourtesy of Veronica GomezGelaun Wheelwright, left, Michael Caffey, center, and Dominique Dunning have led Centennial to a 16-3 record so far this season.

CORONA -- With his head seemingly on a swivel, Centennial's Michael Caffey dribbles the basketball up the court, his eyes constantly surveying the floor in front of him as a pesky opponent attempts to make things difficult.

A one-bounce dribble to the left and a quick crossover move back to the right side frees up some much-needed additional space. Seconds later, Caffey is driving down the lane, into the heart of a defense quickly collapsing around him.

Amid all of the confusion, somehow, some way, he collects himself with a jump stop at the free-throw line and a short jumper presents itself.

Out on the wing stands a teammate, Gelaun Wheelwright, who is positioned just beyond the 3-point arc, patiently waiting for the kick-out pass. But out of the corner of his eye, Caffey catches a fleeting glimpse of a cutter, Dominique Dunning, diving to the basket and a well-placed bounce pass leads to an uncontested layup.

The scenario has played many a time.

Caffey runs the show from his point guard position. As the shooting guard, Wheelwright makes himself available on the perimeter, where he is as consistent as they come burying jumpers, open or not. Dunning is the slasher, of course, a resourceful wing who is always on the move and looking for ways to exploit the defense.

Three seniors. All of them guards. Each equally talented. For anyone facing the Huskies, it is one of those proverbial match-up nightmares.

Stopping one of the trio is entirely possible. It has happened on numerous occasions. Eventually, however, either Caffey, Wheelwright or Dunning is going to make you pay. And perhaps that best explains why Centennial is considered one of the top teams in the Southland and one of the premier programs in the nation, for that matter.

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