Saturday’s 2A Boys BB: Centralia, W.F. West Win District Openers
Tigers Shut Down Ridgefield Late for First-Round Win
DISTRICTS: Ashmore Scores 14 to Lead Centralia in 50-33 Win Over Ridgefield
By Aaron VanTuyl
The Tigers’ defense came up big when it mattered most, but it wasn’t due to any grand shift in the strategy.
Holding Ridgefield to just 3 points for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, rather, was a product of sticking to the original game plan.
Centralia used that time to go on a 13-0 run Saturday night and turn a close game into a 50-33 win in the first round of the District 4 2A Boys Basketball Tournament on Ron Brown Court.
“We felt like we could just get into them and take them out of what they do,” Tiger coach Kyle Donahue said. “I felt like the guys did a good job tonight.”
Ridgefield’s Chase Ramey hit a 3-pointer a minute into the fourth quarter that cut the Tigers’ lead to 37-30, but the Spudders wouldn’t score again until Centralia had built a 20-point lead with under a minute left to play.
Tyler Ashmore led Centralia with 14 points, Conner Wasson chipped in 12 and the Tigers went 13 of 14 at the foul line and outscored Ridgefield 15-6 in the fourth.
“I’ve been waiting for us to play a complete game, and I felt like we really did that tonight,” Donahue said, adding that his team committed just seven turnovers. “We were patient on offense, we used the shot clock early, we ran our stuff and got good looks out of it, we made our free throws, we didn’t have too many mental breakdowns — so I felt really solid and like we played a complete game tonight, for once.”
Wasson, a senior guard who added seven rebounds and went 6 for 6 at the foul line, was a bright spot.
“I just told him tonight, in my four years of coaching him, I think that’s the best game I’ve seen him play,” Donahue said. “He really owned that tonight and played solid defense.”
The win puts Centralia (12-9) in the District 4 semifinals on Tuesday night, facing Mark Morris at 6 p.m. at R.A. Long High School in Longview with a regional playoff berth on the line.
W.F. West Drops Washougal in District Opener
The top-seeded Bearcats didn’t disappoint in their District 4 2A tournament opener Saturday night.
W.F. West jumped out to a 10-0 lead, poured in 24 points in the third quarter and left Washougal in the dust in a 61-44 win, moving on to the tournament’s semifinal round.
Bailey Cooper scored 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting and Brandon White scored 17 with an identical line and added eight rebounds.
The Bearcats led 24-20 at halftime, but outscored Washougal — the No. 4 seed out of the Greater St. Helens 2A League — 24-8 in the third.
“That really set the tone,” W.F. West coach Chris White said. “We just had a lot of energy on defense.”
Early foul trouble also forced the Bearcats to go to the bench, and White said the reserves stepped up in an important game.
“It was a pretty good start to districts,” he said.
W.F. West (19-2) faces Columbia River (18-3), the GSHL co-champion, on Tuesday night at Mark Morris High School in Longview with a 7:45 p.m. tipoff. The Chieftains beat Black Hills, 41-40, on Saturday to reach the semifinals.
“They’re well coached, and there’s a lot of different things they do,” White said. “It should be exciting. It should be fun.”
Note: Mark Morris beat Tumwater, 55-53, on Saturday in the other District 4 first-round game. Check out the bracket here.
TIGERS 50, SPUDDERS 33
Ridgefield 4 15 8 6 —33
Centralia 8 16 9 15 —50
Ridgefield (35) — Radosevich 5, Gama 4, Ramey 12, Bringhurst 4, Armstrong 5, Vossenkuhl 1, Layman 2
FG: 12 of 38 —.315 FT: 3 of 4 —.750 Reb. 15
Centralia (50) — Wasson 12, Ajoge 7, Emmons 3, Sharp, Janssan 5, Baird 2, Ashmore 14, Grimm 7
FG: 18 of 44 —.409 FT: 13 of 14 —.928 Reb. 19 (Wasson 7)
BEARCATS 61, PANTHERS 44
Washougal 9 11 8 16 —44
W.F. West 17 7 24 13 —61
Washougal (44) — Murray 9, McEwen 17, Bosh 2, Adams 2, Miner 3, Coletran 3, Butterfield 5, Davis 3
FG: 15 of 47 —.319 FT: 5 of 7 —.714 Reb. 32 (McEwen 10)
W.F. West (61) — Dobyns 4, Wollan 2, Baker 2, Jones 2, Thomas 9, Speck 3, B. White 17, C. White 4, Cooper 18
FG: 28 of 55 —.510 FT: 4 of 10 —.400 Reb. 32 (B. White 8)