Clovis News: Sports

Centennial High's Kessler hopes 3rd time a charm vs. Knights

Here comes Cody, again.

"I hope it doesn't turn out like it did in football," said Cody Kessler, the Central Section's leading scorer, who will lead fifth-seeded Centennial (18-10) at No. 4 Bullard in a Division I boys basketball quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Two months ago, Bullard overcame Kessler's 303 passing yards to defeat Centennial 42-31 for the D-I football title.

And six weeks ago, County/Metro Athletic Conference co-champion Bullard (18-8) offset Kessler's 34 points to win 73-70 in overtime at Centennial in a nonleague basketball game.

Further, Thursday's game will be played a week after Kessler got flipped and landed on his back in the second quarter against Ridgeview. He was examined at halftime and continued to play while coughing up blood, finishing with 17 points in a 68-55 loss that closed Southwest Yosemite League play.

Centennial still won the league with a 10-2 record behind Kessler, a 6-foot-2 junior guard averaging 29.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals.

He said he'll play against the Knights.

But his real passion? Football.

"I don't talk to [college] coaches for basketball because I know for sure I want to play football," he said.

He's established a short list of football programs courting him: "In no order, it would have to be Pittsburgh, Fresno State, Washington and Boise State. There are others up there, like Alabama and Miami."