Centralia College men’s and women’s basketball teams each took non-league, season-opening losses to kick off their seasons Friday.
The men opened on the road at Everett, falling 97-88, while the women fell to Linn-Benton, 63-58, down at Lane Community College in Oregon.
For the men, the Blazers dug themselves a hole in the opening eight minutes of play and couldn’t claw their way out.
“Our starting five was a little rocky,” Centralia College men’s coach Jason Moir said. “We didn’t get a whole lot out of them.”
Moir sent in his subs and the Blazer began to find their rhythm as the bench scored 30 of the Blazers’ 39 points in the first half.
Bryce Cline, a 2020 Winlock High School grad came off the bench to score 15 points. Alexandre Dutranoy, a transfer from France, led the Trailblazers with 23 points, while Adrian Brown chipped in 21.
The Blazers shot 46% from the field, 27% from long range and 77% from the charity stripe (20 for 26).
Moir said the team needs to work on blocking out as they gave up too many second-chance points and were outscored by 10 in the paint.
Centralia College (0-1) travels back to Everett Saturday for a 4 p.m. non-league matchup against Edmonds.
On the women’s side, the Blazers fell behind 17-6 in the first quarter, played Linn-Benton evenly in the second and third quarters and then engineered an inspiring comeback bid but fell just short.
Down 15 points near the end of the fourth quarter, Blazers coach Caleb Sells deployed a full-court press that helped them climb back in it and pull within two at 60-58. But the Blazers missed a dozen or so shots and couldn’t pull off the comeback.
“It’s too bad,” Sells said. “The girls executed the offense well. It was just first-game jitters. The fourth-quarter press allowed us to get back into it. Our girls were all over the place.”
Rochester High School alum Lexi Sederburg-Jones led the Trailblazers with a team-high 17 points to go with three 3-pointers. Paige Winter, also a Rochester alum, added 14 points.
“We definitely didn’t play our best but we gave it a good run,” Sells said.
Centralia College (0-1) next plays Treasure Valley at 4 p.m. on Saturday.