Centralia had five players score in double digits and the Tigers flew past visiting Rochester, 80-57, in a 2A Evergreen Conference matchup on Wednesday at Ron Brown Court.
Centralia’s 6-foot-5 senior post Benito Valencia tore it up in the paint offensively, scoring a game-high 23 points and pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.
“We’ve been working on simplifying things for him, and he’s been going up strong and really bought into it tonight,” Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said.
Junior guard Brandon Yeung added 17 points, while junior post Landon Kaut chipped in 14 points and seven boards, junior Jayden Pannette had 11 points and junior forward Rex Akins finished with 10.
“We wanted to be very aggressive,” Donahue said. “The kids had tired legs and rallied from the start. They put a lot of pressure on Rochester and it led to turnovers and jumping passes.”
Centralia shot 43% from the field while holding Rochester to 25% from the floor. But more importantly, the Tigers had 22 assists on their 31 field goals.
“We did a good job moving the ball and making the extra pass,” Donahue said.
He praised the guard play of senior primary ball handler Brady Hoyt, who finished with a team-high six assists to go with five rebounds. Centralia won the rebounding battle, 35-24.
“It was one of the better games Brady has played for us,” Donahue said.
Rochester was led by Ben Crouse’s team-high 12 points, while Porter Mason contributed eight.
The Warriors were coming off their first victory in the past two seasons after defeating rival Tenino, 71-58, on Monday.
“I really have a lot of respect for the Rochester kids,” Donahue said. “They did a good job playing hard and I have a lot of appreciation for those kids.”
Centralia (3-4, 3-4 league) travels to Tumwater on Thursday.
Rochester (1-7, 0-7) hosts Shelton on Friday.
W.F. West used stalwart defense and had two double-digit scorers to easily take down Shelton, 50-32, in a 2A EvCo road matchup on Tuesday.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 31-7 lead at the break and cruised the rest of the way.
Senior Carter McCoy led with a team-high 12 points, junior Dirk Plakinger added 11, Cade Haller had eight, Whalen Deskins contributed six, Gabe Cuestas had four and Camryn Bostwick finished with two.
W.F. West has now won three in a row and six of its last seven. The Bearcats remain unbeaten at 7-0 in league, are 7-2 overall and travel to Aberdeen on Monday.