Boys basketball: Kalama 81, La Center 71

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After building an early lead, the Chinooks turned back every Wildcats' challenge in a loser-out Class 1A District 4 game at Kelso.

Matt Braaten scored a game-high 27 for La Center, which finished 15-7 on the season.

Kalama had four players in double figures and a fifth score nine points. Jared Shagool had 20 points, Hunter Esary 17 and Elijah Bannister 16 for Kalama.

Trailing by 11 at halftime, La Center pulled within one point at 44-43 early in the third quarter. But Kalama responded with a layup and one of its 12 3-pointers to stretch the lead to six.

"We could really just never get over the hump," La Center coach Jon Schroeder said. "They're a good team. They shoot the ball well. They defend well."

Schroeder said his Wildcats battled through some injuries and illnesses during the playoffs.

"I think our guys really did a good job competing tonight and gave it their all," he said.

KALAMA 81, LA CENTER 71

LA CENTER (15-7) -- Connor Wonderly 8, Chase Davison 2, Jonathan Griffee 0, Wyatt Aguirre 7, Matt Braaten 27, Brody Seter 5, Dalton Morgan 14, Will Rice 8, Sawyer Bierscheitd 0, Jake Wise 0, Mason Parmentier 0, Sean Nolan 0. Totals 27 (6) 11-17 71.

KALAMA -- Harley Gates 11, Jared Shagool 20, Elijah Bannister 16, Isaac Truesdell 9, Seth Freeman 3, Spencer Stone 5, Hunter Esary 17. Totals 26 (12) 17-24 81.

La Center 15 12 22 22--71

Kalama 23 15 20 23--81