The Prosser Mustangs, on this night, looked like a tournament-ready blend of size on the inside and long-range shooting on the outside.
In Scott Blakney, Prosser gets both attributes in one 6-foot-9 package.
The senior Blakney was not the whole story for Prosser on Saturday at W.F. West High School, but he was the riddle for which Centralia High had no answer in the Mustangs’ 73-58 Class 2A state regional boys basketball victory that ended the Tigers’ season.
Prosser (16-9), the fifth-place team in the Central Washington Athletic Conference regular season, outscored Centralia 25-7 in the third quarter to break loose from a 29-29 halftime tie. The Mustangs will play Wapato next week in the Yakima Valley SunDome in the Class 2A state tournament’s first round.
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Blakney, who is signed to play for the University of Idaho next season, scored 16 points for Prosser, as did the 6-foot-5 Nate Brown.
Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said he expected Blakney and Brown to get their points, but he wasn’t as prepared for the outside bombs of Noah Flores, who also scored 16 points, including consecutive 3-pointers to open the third quarter.
“We knew it would take one of their other guys shooting well to beat us,” Donahue said.
In that decisive third quarter, Blakney scored in the post, blocked a shot and dribbled the length of the floor to feed teammate Angel Rivera for a basket, drained a pull-up 16-footer and threw a perfect pass on an over-the-top, back-door play.
Meanwhile, four different Mustangs — Rivera, Flores, Teegan Cox and Logan Hatfield — hit 3-point baskets in the third quarter as Prosser outscored Centralia 17-2 to open the third quarter. The lead bloomed to 18 points by quarter’s end.
After two 3-pointers by Flores and another from Hatfield earned the Mustangs a 29-25 lead, Centralia scored the final four points of the second quarter to earn a tie at halftime.
Hodges Bailey scored 20 points and Tyler Ashmore scored 12 points to lead Centralia, which finished the season 17-9.
Donahue said he never doubted the effort he would get from his team all season, which was meaningful after veteran coach Ron Brown left the team in January for health reasons.
“He is in the gym,” Donahue said of Brown’s presence both in spirit and the system he installed.
Centralia , Prosser
P: Blakney 16, Rivera 7, Flores 16, Cox 3, Wagner 1, Hatfield 12, Brown 16, Godinez 2.
C: Pertzborn 9, Thomas 7, Bailey 20, Ashmore 12, Shute 8, Edwards 2.