Boys Basketball: Tigers Edged at Last Second Against Port Angeles
CLOSE CALLS: Centralia Falls, 48-47, to Roughriders in Nonleague Game
By Aaron VanTuyl
Closing out games hasn’t exactly been the Tigers’ strong suit this season.
All four of their losses, heading into Wednesday afternoon’s nonleague tilt with Port Angeles, had been by less than 10 points.
The sendoff to Christmas break, though, was just that dubious calling card taken to the next level.
Centralia came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, took the lead with just over a minute left to play and had two looks at a game-winning shot, only to see Port Angeles start its long drive home with a 48-47 win.
Ben Janssan’s 3-pointer with 1 minute, 4 seconds left on the clock gave Centralia it’s only lead of the second half, but Port Angeles’ Liam Clark drove left and scored — but missed the foul shot awarded with the foul that accompanied his bucket — to put the Roughriders up 48-47 with 13 seconds to go.
Centralia called a timeout and got the ball into its point guard, Janssan, who found Tyler Ashmore on the wing. Ashmore drove the hoop, drew contact and got a shot up, only to see it bounce around the rim and bounce out.
The suspense, though, wasn’t over. Kolby Baird grabbed the rebound and got tangled up in a jump-ball situation, with the arrow going to Centralia. With a half-second on the clock, the Tigers inbounded the ball to Janssan, who just missed on a final shot.
“We had two pretty good looks at the basket, there,” Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said. “I thought Tyler went up strong with it and just didn’t get a call there going to the rim. The ball rolled in and out. Kolby put himself in a perfect position to get the rebound, and Ben just missed the shot at the end.”
Ashmore finished with a team-high 12 points and added six rebounds. Janssan added 11 points, three rebounds and four assists.
Centralia was within 4 points at halftime, but a combination of foul trouble and an injury — Janssan left the game to have a cut on his chin bandaged up — shifted the lineup.
“It felt like we did a really good job of weathering the storm,” Donahue said, noting that Kolby Sharp, Malakai Emmons and Michael Ajoge played well in that situation. “They gave us a chance to win at the end of the game. “They gave us a chance and put us into a position (to win).”
Kyle Benedict led Port Angeles with 12 points. Jackson Grimm added 7 points and six rebounds for Centralia, though the Tigers shot just 3 of 20 from behind the 3-point arc.
The loss dropped Centralia to 2-5 on the year, though, as Donahue pointed out, the losses have all been close.
“We’re competing. We’re playing teams that I feel like are pretty tough teams. I don’t feel like we have an easy preseason schedule,” Donahue said, noting that Port Angeles’ previous four wins had all been by at least 20 points. “We’re competing with teams, and that’s the positive right now.”
Centralia hosts North Mason on Friday night in another nonleague game. The Tigers open Evergreen 2A Conference play on Jan. 3 at Rochester.
ROUGHRIDERS 48, TIGERS 47
Port Angeles 11 17 10 10 —48
Centralia 14 10 8 15 —47
Port Angeles (48) — Long 2, Borde 3, Johnson 2, McGuffey 2, Joslin 7, Schmidt 6, Benedict 12, Edwards 4, Clark 8, Kathol 2
FG: 18 of 47 —.382 FT: 7 of 9 —.777 Reb. 18
Centralia (47) — Wasson 2, Ajoge 4, Emmons 4, Sharp 3, Janssan 11, Baird 4, Ashmore 12, Grimm 7
FG: 20 of 52 —.384 FT: 4 of 6 —.667 Reb. 17 (Ashmore, Grimm 6)