The Centralia College men’s basketball team pulled off an NWAC shocker Wednesday night, upsetting No. 3 Peninsula 86-84.
The Pirates came into the evening at 7-0, the Blazers at 0-6. But thanks to a huge first half, a hold-on job in the second, and a pair of clutch free throws from Raymond Guillory, Centralia cracked its goose egg and ended Peninsula’s perfect start to the season.
Guillory came off the bench but still poured in a team-high 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, and added seven rebounds. With the game tied at 84-84 with 13 seconds left, the Blazers got the ball into his hands one last time, and he drew a foul in the lane and hit both free throws to put his side ahead for good.
“Ray was a monster attacking the hoop and getting to the rim,” CC assistant Joe Chirhart said. “He’s special when he’s in attack mode.”
Winlock alum Bryce Cline earned his second start of the season and ran with it, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 17 points. Juelz Mendoza scored 14 on a perfect 7-for-7 night from the floor, and Wendell Davis Jr. scored nine.
W.F. West’s own Kayden Kelly logged six assists, and Deshawn Keperling led the way on the glass with eight rebounds.
Early this season, Centralia’s kept games close with well-played first halves, before fading late. Wednesday night, the Blazers went over the top, dominating Peninsula early and going into the break up 16 points, 49-33.
Every bit of that lead turned out to be necessary as the Pirates started to chip away out of halftime. Centralia got the lead back up to 16 points midway through the period, but with six minutes left, the Pirates went on their run. With a minute to go, the guests hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 84-84 — the first tie since the game started 0-0. Both teams missed opportunities to take the lead, before Guillory got to the line with a second left to win it.
Centralia (1-6) wll take on Skagit Valley on Saturday on the road, looking for its second upset in as many games.