Centralia snaps EvCo skid with win over Rochester


The Centralia boys basketball team won its first league game since February 2022, downing Rochester at home 66-35. 

After playing six games in 11 days to start the season, culminating with a painfully close loss to Aberdeen last Thursday, the Tigers (2-5, 1-2 2A EvCo) got an extended break to finally address areas of concern, which head coach Kyle Donahue said helped tremendously.

“We watched film of ourselves the next day after Aberdeen, and I think pointing some stuff out and having the guys see areas we weren’t doing well, I think it really clicked with them,” he said. “They cleaned up a lot of those little things that we talked about. We’d say ‘We’re so close here and so close there,’ and it was just a matter of putting it together.”

A lot of what clicked came on defense, where the Tigers held the Warriors (0-8, 0-3 2A EvCo) to just 16 points in the first 16 minutes.

“It was a really good team defensive effort, putting pressure on guys, trapping guys when we needed to, anticipating passes,” Donahue said. “All the guys just played really solid together tonight.”

That set up the offense, which didn’t shoot the lights out but built up a 42-16 lead at halftime.

By the end of the third quarter, the Tigers led 58-29, and were just two points away from their season high for points in a game.

David Daarud did yeoman’s work down low, finishing with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think this was one of David’s best games that he’s played,” Donahue said. “He did a really good job staying composed throughout the course of the game, playing within himself, being strong in the post, going up strong, finishing shots when he got fouled.”

Cohen Ballard, who shifted over from the wing to the point filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

“He did such a good job tonight, just keeping us composed,” Donahue said.

Aidan Haines added 14 points, and Landen Jenkins had nine. Von Wasson pitched in five points and five assists, and led the defense with five steals.

Brayden O’Connor had 10 points to lead the Warriors.

The win snaps a 13-game league losing streak for Centralia.

Both teams will be back in action Friday, with Rochester facing Aberdeen and Centralia playing Tumwater.