Monday’s Boys Basketball: Tigers Tame Warriors in Season Finale
Double-Trouble: Ajoge Notches a Double-Double as Centralia Stifles Rochester 58-24
By The Chronicle
ROCHESTER — Centralia had nothing to lose Monday night and their performance mirrored their mindset as they toppled Rochester 58-24 in an Evergreen 2A Conference boys basketball game that served as the season finale for both teams.
“I’ve been preaching to these guys all season that we’ve got to do a better job of seeing the court and sharing the basketball. For some reason tonight we decided to do it,” said Centralia coach Kyle Donahue. “I don’t know if we just kind of relaxed tonight because we were playing our last game and there’s no playoff hopes, but we just kind of played free tonight, a little bit more relaxed, and we saw the court better tonight…And it helps when you hit some shots.”
Michael Ajoge posted a double-double to pace the Tigers with a game-high 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Centralia grabbed six more rebounds than the Warriors as a team and shot a cool 43 percent from the field.
Malakai Emmons and Matt House added nine points each for Centralia, while Tyler Milton and Derek Beairsto added eight points each.
On the other end Rochester managed to sink just eight of 41 field goal attempts and connected on four of seven free throws.
“It’s just been the story of our year. We’ve got some good hard nosed kids but offensively we’re usually challenged,” said Rochester coach Mark Goldrick.
In his farewell game in front of the Warriors’ home crowd senior playmaker Keegan Goldrick scored a team-high 12 points. Enrique Sanchez and Patrick Riley added three points each and Sanchez snatched a team-high five rebounds.
“Their box-and-one on Keegan was pretty effective,” said Coach Goldrick. “If you take him away it gets pretty tough and that’s what they did and they were successful at it. He started out pretty good and still had a decent offensive night but that’s the key. If they are able to do that and us not make them pay for it, that’s what happens.”
Donahue was proud of the defensive effort his team put forth in holding Rochester below double-digit scoring in every quarter.
“I just told the guys after the game that I thought every single guy on the court tonight did their role defensively in what we were trying to do. Obviously Malakai leads us out there at the top of our zone and he’s kind of a tough guy to get the ball around when he anticipates,” he said. “I thought Matt House did a great job on the top tonight for us. Derek Beairsto did a great job down low defensively and disrupting some shots around the hoop.”
After wrapping up his final campaign donning the blue and gold alongside his son, Keegan, Mark Goldrick said he’ll always remember the best attributes of this season’s gang of Warriors.
“We ended up with four (seniors) at the end of the season. We started with a few more than that. But, we ended up with four just blue collar, I-don’t-care-what-the-score-is, I’m-just-gonna-go-play-hard kind of guys. And as a coach, as a parent, as an uncle, as a teacher, if you have guys like that then it’s fun to go to work every day and that’s what I had with this group,” said Goldrick.
TIGERS 58, WARRIORS 24
Centralia 11 20 14 13 —58
Rochester 6 9 5 3 —24
Centralia (58) — Ajoge 14, Emmons 9, Milton 8, Beairsto 8, House 9, Kahn 6, Brown 2, Strophy 2
FG: 25 of 53 —.434 FT: 0 of 1 —.000 Reb: 26 (Ajoge 11)
Rochester (24) — Goldrick 12, Sanchez 3, Riley 3, Moen 2, Hansen 2, May 2
FG: 8 of 41 —.195 FT: 4 of 7 —.571 Reb: 20 (Sanchez 5)