CENTRALIA — The Columbia River Chieftains never fully recovered from a slow start Saturday night in the opener of the Class 2A District 4 boys basketball tournament.
They won’t be able to afford any more slow starts. The Chieftains are in a win-or-done situation the rest of their season. They must win three in a row to advance to state.
Centralia will get a chance to earn a trip to state in the district semifinals after downing the Chieftains 65-54.
Hodges Bailey made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points, leading the Tigers to the start-to-finish victory.
Centralia jumped out to a 12-point advantage in the first quarter and held the lead the rest of the way.
The Chieftains did not go away quietly, though.
Spencer Black’s basket to open the fourth quarter made it a two-point game. The Tigers would push their advantage back to nine. Then it was another River rally, this time with back-to-back 3-pointers from Spencer Long to make it 52-49 with 3:10 to play.
The Tigers would get the next seven points, though, to maintain control. Bailey then ended it with a 30-foot, 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 55 seconds to play, giving Centralia an 11-point edge.
Long made four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 22 points. Black was 7 for 11 shooting with 15 points. Caden Dezort made three 3-pointers and had 13 points for River.
Tyler Ashmore made four 3-pointers for Centralia. He scored 14 points.
CENTRALIA 65, COLUMBIA RIVER 54
COLUMBIA RIVER — Caden Dezort 13, Nate Snook 0, Jacob Hjort 4, Evan Dirksen 0, Nathan Hockhalter 0, Spencer Long 22, Jack Armstrong 0, Spencer Black 15. Totals 21 (8) 4-5 54.
CENTRALIA — Isaiah Trevino 0, Maninderjit Singh 0, Layne Pertzborn 9, Jordan Thomas 9, Hodges Bailey 26, Tyler Ashmore 14, Cale Shute 7, Nick Edwards 0. Totals 21 (9) 14-20 65.
Col. River 8 13 16 17–54
Centralia 17 13 11 24–65