Women’s College Basketball: Blazers Run Rangers Out of Town
By The Chronicle
After one quarter of close play here on Sunday at Michael Smith Gymnasium the Centralia College women’s basketball team decided to crank up the intensity a few notches. From that point on the Trailblazers outscored the visiting Rangers of Olympic College 62-21 on the way to a decisive 76-32 victory in non-conference NWAC action at the Centralia Tournament.
“All of a sudden in that second quarter it was just like everything clicked. Our defense was in lockdown mode. Our offense was hitting shots and it was running better than it ever had before. We were all on the same page,” said Centralia coach Caleb Sells. “Even kids off the bench were hitting, like Becca Snaza who came off the bench and hit 4 of 5 threes. Everybody was contributing in that game.”
Snaza and Caitlin Yenne each put up 14 points for the Trailblazers while Jamie Connally and Devanie Kleemeyer each scored 11 points. Connally also led the team in rebounds with eight while Piper Cai chipped in nine points and six rebounds.
Centralia’s defense was able to hold the Rangers to a shooting percentage of just under 19 percent while connecting on more than 42 percent of their own attempts. That defensive effort held Olympic under ten points in three quarters including a low of four points in the final quarter.
Centralia (4-4) will play at Columbia Basin College on Friday in the NWAC Crossover Tournament and then will face Lane on Saturday.
Trailblazers Top Timberwolves
Centralia was able to overcome a poor performance in two key areas here on Saturday in order to clutch a victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Trailblazers shot just 28 percent from the field and were outrebounded 50-31 on their home court but still found a way to defeat the Blue Mountain Timberwolves 58-56 in a non-conference women’s basketball game.
Asked to explain just how his team was able to cobble together a victory without their best performance, Centralia coach Caleb Sells was nearly at a loss for words — but then he found them.
“That’s a good question,” said Sells. “I think we were down by about seven with about two minutes to go. And I’ll be honest we couldn’t do much. We couldn’t get out of our own way. And then all of a sudden the press that hadn’t been working all game started working. It was just one of those lucky things where everything just clicked at the right time.”
Centralia was able to get the best of their opponents thanks in large part to an advantage at the free throw line. The Blazers knocked down 15 of 23 freebie attempts while the T-Wolves hit just 6 of 13 free throws.
Sells noted that Caitlin Yenne played tough defense and sunk the go-ahead basket with about twenty seconds left in the game.
Lindsey Nurmi had a game-high 16 points for Centralia while Piper Cai added 11 points. Quinlan Christian added five points and a team-high six rebounds for the Blazers.
For Blue Mountain Brooke Wheeler turned in a team-high 14 points and game-high 21 rebounds.
BLAZERS 76, RANGERS 32
Olympic 11 8 9 4 —32
Centralia 14 26 19 17 —76
Olympic (76) — Monzon 4, Campana 5, Gordon 3, Blake 8, Simonson 3, Greene 2, Sullivan 6, Kahananui 1
FG: 10 of 53 —.189 FT: 10 of 14 —.714 Reb: 41 (Monzon 10)
Centralia (72) — Cai 9, Yenne 15, Elwood 2, Nurmi 7, Connally 11, Kleemeyer 11, Wilkerson 6, Snaza 14, Compton 2
FG: 25 of 59 —.424 FT: 13 of 21 —.619 Reb: 30 (Connally 8)
BLAZERS 58, T-WOLVES 56
Blue Mountain 7 16 19 14 —56
Centralia 12 16 14 16 —58
Peninsula (56) — Skramsted 13, Morrison 3, Gerlinger 11, Munoz 8, Wheeler 14, Broncheau 7
FG: 21 of 61 —.344 FT: 6 of 13 —.462 Reb: 50 (Wheeler 21)
Centralia (58) — Cai 11, Yenne 3, Elwood 5, Christian 6, Nurmi 16, Connally 3, Kleemeyer 3, Wilkerson 8, Snaza 3
FG: 18 of 64 —.281 FT: 15 of 23 —.652 Reb: 31 (Christian 6)