Weekend College Basketball: Trail Blazers Take Two of Three at Red Devil Classic
By The Chronicle
LONGVIEW — This early in the season it’s hard for a coach to know if what they’re seeing is the real deal or a result of a small sample size. That’s the precise conundrum Centralia College coach Jason Moir is contemplating after opening the season up with three games at the Red Devil Classic over the weekend
The Trail Blazers went 2-1 over the course of three days including a pair of wins that served as bookends. Centralia defeated Mt. Hood 79-71 on Friday (stats in Saturday’s paper) and downed Yakima Valley 105-89 on Sunday. In between they lost to Everett by a score of 75-70 in the semifinal game on Saturday.
“We definitely feel that there were some good things that came out of it. Like I say, we played defense a lot better than we thought we would this early but we definitely identified some things that we can continue to get better at,” said Moir.
In that semifinal game the Trail Blazers took a 37-33 lead into the half but allowed Everett to run away in the second half when they lost their shooting touch. Centralia ended the game with a shooting percentage just below 37 percent, including a mark of just 5 for 23 from beyond the arc.
On the other end the Trojans connected on 13 three-point attempts and knocked down 12 of 15 free throws to help fuel their comeback win. Everett also beat Centralia on the boards with 53 rebounds to the Trail Blazers 40. Everett was paced in scoring by Jon Parker’s game-high 23 points.
Marqus Gilson led Centralia in scoring and rebounding for the second game in a row with 21 points and eight rebounds. LaBrandon Price added 20 points and six rebounds while Jaxon Clark chipped in 11 points. Liam Murphy added six rebounds and a team-high eight assists for Centralia.
On Sunday the Trail Blazers bounced back to defeat Yakima Valley 105-89 in a consolation contest. Centralia jumped out to a 61-44 lead before the half to help shake off any hangover from their defeat the day before.
The Trail Blazers were without Gilson for the majority of the game after he injured his knee 12 minutes into the game. Moir said they are taking a wait-and-see approach with their prominent scorer.
“That gave some valuable minutes to some guys who probably wouldn’t have played as much,” pointed out Moir.
Specifically, fromer Centralia Tiger Tyler Ashmore used the game as his coming out party by posting a game-high 37 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.
“The local kid, Tyler Ashmore, had a great game in that third game. Hopefully that gives him some of that confidence that he needs to be an impact player for us at this level,” said Moir.
Prangley added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Centralia while Price added 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Peyton Stanley, of so much Napavine fame, notched nine points on a trio longballs.
Looking forward after leaving Longview Moir noted, “We’ve just got to continue to grow. We saw some really good things out there this weekend.”
Centralia (2-1) will host Edmonds on Saturday at 4 p.m.m in Michael Smith Gymnasium for their first home game of the season.
At Lower Columbia
BLAZERS 105, YAKS 89
Yakima Valley 44 45 —89
Centralia 61 44 —105
Yakima (89) — Jarmon 0, Lawrence 2, Lindgren 10, Armstead 18, Delgado 8, Arroyo 4, Jacob 18, Strom 24, Sanchez 5
FG: 30 of 79 —.380 FT: 10=9 of 32 —.594 Reb: 37 (Armstead 8)
Centralia (105) — Clarke 4, Prangley 13, Murphy 11, Greene 8, Gilson 12, Price 10, Hoff 1, Ashmore 37, Stanley 9
FG: 38 of 71 .—535 FT: 24 of 35 —.686 Reb: 54 (Price 10)
At Lower Columbia
TROJANS 75, BLAZERS 70
Centralia 37 33 —70
Everett 33 42 —75
Centralia (70) — Clarke 11, Prangley 2, Murphy 3, Greene 4, Gilson 21, Price 20, Hoff 6, Ashmore 3, Stanley 0
FG: 28 of 80 .—338 FT: 11 of 14 —.786 Reb: 40 (Gilson 8)
Everett (75) — Parker 23, Brown 16, Crumley 3, Maddox 4, Jespersen 13, Makuei 5, Bolles 8, Phillips 3, Seybold, 0, Johnson 0
FG: 25 of 68 —.368 FT: 12 of 15 —.800 Reb: 53 (Brown 7)