Centralia Defeats Tumwater on Ron Brown Night
By Matt Baide
It was Ron Brown Night in Centralia on Saturday, as the former head coach was honored at halftime for his 56 years coaching the Centralia boys basketball team.
There is nothing that Brown would have wanted more on this night than a win, and Tyler Ashmore scored 28 points to lead the Tigers to a 73-55 win over Tumwater in an Evergreen 2A Conference boys basketball game.
“I think he asked me if there was anything we were going to do as a team and I said the number one thing we can do is get a victory over Tumwater on our court,” Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said.
Ben Janssan recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists and Michael Ajoge added 9 points.
“Good complete team game tonight, a lot of guys scored for us. Tyler had a huge game inside, felt like they couldn’t stop him inside,” Donahue said. “So we continued to go to him and find him. Ben is one of the best passers I’ve ever been around, he sees the court and understands the movement of the game better than any kid I’ve coached.”
Tumwater shot well in the first quarter, making five 3’s to lead 21-15 after one. The Tigers went on a run to start the second quarter to tie the game, and scored 22 in the quarter for a 37-31 lead at halftime.
Centralia was able to start pulling away in the third quarter and led by 10 going into the fourth, where the Tigers were able to build a 20-point lead.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Ron Brown’s grandson, William Brown, checked into the game. Janssan’s biggest assist of the night was when he found Brown on the wing, and Brown banked in a short jumper to energize the crowd.
“I kept looking at the clock thinking, ‘When am I going to sneak William in there?’ I got him in there and didn’t want to leave him out to dry with the guard. But I wanted to get him in there, it was a big night,” Donahue said. “We talked about it in the locker room after the game that there was no better way to end the night than a bank shot from the wing from Brown on his court.”
Donahue played for Brown and coached with Brown before taking over as head coach last season due to Brown’s health complications.
“To the community, he’s obviously a very important figure. I’ve had the chance to play for him. I understand basketball because of coach Brown,” Donahue said. “Obviously, I’ve looked outside and tried to adapt and bring things in my own way, but I still try to play the Ron Brown basketball way. Fundamentals, hard work, team defense, just unselfishness as a whole and I try to push that on the kids. He’s just a great guy and it really is an honor to be following up him coaching.”
Centralia (6-6, 2-0) hosts Black Hills on Tuesday in a conference matchup.
TIGERS 73, THUNDERBIRDS 55
Tumwater 21 10 14 10 —55
Centralia 15 22 18 18 —73
Tumwater (55) — Williams 6, Geathers 15, Koelsch 5, Jones 16, Gilliland 3, Gaither 10
FG: N/A FT: N/A Reb: N/A
Centralia (73) — Wasson 7, Brown 2, Ajoge 9, Emmons 8, Janssan 17, Ashmore 28
FG: 28 of 54 —.518 FT: 12 of 15 —.800 Reb: N/A