Second-Half Runs Sink Centralia Against Lakes

Dec. 31—At Centralia


Lakes 8 15 16 15 — 54

Centralia 10 10 8 9 — 37

Lakes: S. Oliver 21, Campos 15, I. Oliver 7, Silvera 3, Bradley 2

Centralia: Chavez 15, Wilkerson 9, Sprague 6, Babka 3, Ritchey 2, Cline 2

Wrapping up its short run at the Centralia Tigers Classic — and the 2022 portion of its season — the Centralia girls basketball team came up short against 3A Lakes, fading off in the second half in a 54-37 loss.

Emily Wilkerson hit a pair of free throws to bring the Tigers within two points midway through the third quarter, but the Lancers proceeded to put the game away, ripping off a 13-0 run on the back of three Samara Oliver 3-pointers in three minutes.

"They started hitting some outside shots," Centralia coach Austin Danielson said. :We did a good job of packing in the zone, and the first half they weren't making those shots, but they started falling in the second half."

That stretched the gap to double figures, and while a Makayla Chavez triple briefly got things back within 10 in the fourth, the Lancers pushed it right back out, ending the game on an 11-2 run.

Lakes ended up outscoring Centralia 31-17 in the latter two quarters, after leading by just three points at halftime.

Chavez led Centralia with 15 points, and was both the only Tiger to crack double figures and the only one to score in the fourth quarter. Wilkerson had nine points and nine rebounds, while Brooklyn Sprague posted six points.

The Tigers did a better job of speeding the Lancers up early; Lakes turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, and didn't put the ball in the basket for nearly five minutes. But Centralia wasn't much able to take advantage, only getting to six points itself in that time. By the end of the first, the Tigers led 10-8, with 13 combined turnovers.

Lakes started to find a bit of a groove on offense in the second quarter, but Centralia held close, surrendering the lead but keeping things within a possession. In the end, though, the game was just waiting for one big run, which the Lancers pulled out coming out of halftime. While the visitors were hitting their shots and finding open lanes to the basket against Centralia's zone, the Tigers were having trouble doing the same on the other end of the floor, with the Lancer zone collapsing over the ball in the high post and forcing turnover after turnover.

"We just need to be strong with the ball," Danielson said. "We had moments where we really were, and moments where they just got us. They have a lot of strong girls on their team. We got tangled up a few times, and didn't get what we want out of possessions."

Centralia will get the weekend to regroup, then return to 2A EvCo play next week, hosting Shelton on Wednesday.