In a low-scoring and low shooting percentage affair, Centralia saved its best quarter for last in a comeback, 34-32, victory against Rochester Thursday night.
The Tigers (3-0, 1-0 EvCo) avenged two losses to the Warriors last year after trailing by six points at the start of the third quarter. Thanks to some impressive defensive rebounding and a new-look full court press, the Tigers pulled it out to win their league opener in thrilling fashion on the road.
“It wasn’t the best game we played,” Tigers coach Doug Ashmore said. “But we’ll take a win on the road to open league play.”
Centralia shot 24% from the field, and just around 14% from the foul line, but forced 11 steals and rebounded well to put the game away late.
Sophomore post Emily Wilkerson led the way with nine points and 11 rebounds, with Gracie Schofield scoring seven and Jadyn Hawley scoring six points to go along with eight rebounds.
“Our pressure was good at times,” Ashmore said. “But we got in foul trouble and had to win it with different personnel.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, had to overcome a tough start to get back in the game in the second half and take the lead in the third. Sofie Sand scored a game-high 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds to pace the Warriors, who used a strong defensive effort to build a lead before the fourth quarter.
The Warriors shot 24% from the field, went 2 for 11 from three-point land and made 7 of 17 from the charity stripe.
“Tough night shooting for us,” Warriors coach Davina Serdahl said. “We had our opportunities.”
The Tigers play Shelton next on Wednesday, while the Warriors look to rebound against Olympic on Friday.