Capital, River Ridge win 2A District IV boys opening-round games, advance to Tuesday's semis in Kelso

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 15, 2014 

If any team knows how to win in the 2A District IV boys basketball tournament, it's River Ridge. 

Players graduate and the line-ups change, but the Hawks continue to pile up the postseason victories.

LaBrandon Price scored 14 points and Jason Kananin and Issiah Scott both scored 11 as River Ridge used a late run to post a 65-58 win over visiting R.A. Long Saturday in the opening round of the tournament.

The Hawks, who are seeking their sixth consecutive district championship, have won 15 straight district tournament games.

"It's become the expectations around here," River Ridge coach John Barbee said. "It's not, let's get to districts and see how we do. The program has become about winning it."

The Hawks (12-9) will face a familiar foe in the semifinals in Greater Saint Helens League 2A champion Mark Morris.

The two schools will meet 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kelso High School.

The Hawks, which have not lost in districts since 2008, defeated the Monarchs, 50-47, in last year's title game.

Capital 75, Centralia 64: The Cougars had the hot hand early, and are now one victory away from a 2A regional berth after their opening-round victory over the Tigers in the 2A District IV tournament in Centralia. Capital (7-14) now faces Hockinson, which defeated W.F. West on Saturday, in Tuesday’s 7:45 p.m. semifinal at Kelso High School.

Four Capital players had at least 15 points; sophomore Ty Gentry had 19 followed by 17 apiece from Travis Miller and Connor Hayden. Anthony Duncan had 15, including a step-back 3-pointer to start the game off for the Cougars, coach Dave Mastin said.

Capital has now won six of its past 11 games after starting the season 1-9 through its first 10 games.

“Our guys, they’re starting to trust what we’re doing and trust each other,” Cougars coach Dave Mastin said. “And we’ve started to see some of the results in the second half of the season.”

 

Mark Morris 70, Tumwater 55: The Monarchs, champions of the 2A GSHL, put up 40 points on the Thunderbirds in the first half and led by as many as 28 in their opening-round victory. The loss sends Tumwater (9-12) into the consolation bracket where they’ll face R.A. Long at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a loser-out contest at Kelso High School. David Cooper led the T-Birds with 15 points while Cole Hastie had 10.

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