Centralia put up a valiant second-half effort but couldn’t close out in a 56-50 elimination loss at Shelton in the opening round of the 2A Evergreen Conference tournament on Monday.
“It was a frustrating game early on,” Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said. “We came out slow, played at a slow pace and it was not the pace I wanted to play at. We settled on lethargic first half.”
The Tigers struggled to get the ball inside in the first half and trailed 29-18 at the half, with the majority of their points coming off 3-pointers and free throws.
“I wanted to get looks inside and get transition points,” Donahue said. “We had a good, solid second half.”
Rex Akins helped fuel the Tigers’ second-half rally by causing havoc on the defensive end to help cut the lead to five at one point. Junior Landon Kaut, who went scoreless in the first half, erupted for 19 points in the second half to lead the Tigers in scoring.
“We fought hard and played much better in the second half,” Donahue said.
Brandon Yeung finished with 11 points and Brady Hoyt added nine.
Centralia is eliminated. Seniors Hoyt, Cameron Erickson and Benito Valencia all played their final games for the Tigers.
Tumwater used a big second quarter to fly past Rochester, 84-40, in the opening round of the 2A EvCo tournament Monday.
The Warriors kept Tumwater within reach in the first quarter, trailing 23-16, but the Thunderbirds’ defense held them to three points in the second quarter to put the game out of reach by halftime (44-19).
Tumwater senior Camden Oram had 14 points and 15 assists — setting a program single-game assist record (previous record was 12, set in 2006 by Nick Smith).
Sophomore Luke Brewer led the T-birds with 20 points, with 18 of those coming in the first half, while Ryan Otten had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Rochester was led by Ben Clouse’s eight points, while Caleb Vanderhoof, Porter Mason and Tyler Klatush each added six.
“Rochester is still trying to find their identity and rotations,” Rochester coach Derrick Pringle said. “At one point we got within six, but the experience and execution of their sets were too much for us to compete with. We are such a young team. Overall, I’m proud of how hard they played this season with limited numbers.”
Rochester is eliminated. Tumwater (11-3) plays the winner of Black Hills and Aberdeen in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.