Central splits games

INDEPENDENCE ­— A shaky first quarter for Central’s boys led to a 59-45 road loss to South Albany there Jan. 16.

The taller Rebels outplayed the Panthers most of the way, but Central outscored the host team 17-9 in the fourth period, in which the South Albany bench saw some action.

In the first quarter, the Rebels outshot and outrebounded the Panthers so thoroughly and kept up such a strong zone defense that they led 22-7 at the end of the period.

The Panthers (11-3, 3-1 Mid-Willamette Conference) improved somewhat in the second quarter, but the Rebels still outscored them, 17-13. Kaleb Kantola, who was to the top Panther scorer with 10 points, had 8 of them in the period. Kantola also had one of Central’s three-point buckets in that quarter. Brandon Lesmeister was the Panthers’ No. 2 scorer with 9.

Central had only 8 points in the third period, but its zone defense held the Rebels to 11.

Kantola started the fourth-quarter scoring with an outside shot that made the score 50-30.

A layin by Javier Cantu cut the South Albany lead by two more points.

Cody Baldwin and Brenden Dedek hit three-pointers in the final period. Dedek’s was the last score of the game.

South Albany’s top scorer was Jake Costello with 14 points. Jaden Guilford had 13 and Kyle Miller 12.

“We got hit with a ton of energy,” Central coach Tim Kreta said. “It was the most points we’ve given up in the first quarter. Our kids are learning. We dropped one big one at the beginning of the year to Banks. I was proud of the way we played in the fourth quarter.”

Central boys basketball downed Corvallis 59-56 in dramatic fashion Friday in a game that went to overtime.

“The kids were hoping to come out strong and make a stand to make up for Tuesday night,” Kreta said. “Unfortunately, we did not come out strong. We found ourselves down by as many as 16 before going into the half down nine.”

Central made up ground in the second half, making it a two-point game to begin the fourth quarter.

“Our guys did a great job communicating on screens and were able to defend their first look and hold them off to force overtime,” Kreta said.

He said Central played strong defense, forcing Corvallis into difficult shots in overtime.

“We found ourselves up three with 4 seconds left and got the deflection we needed to have the clock run out,” Kreta said.

The Panthers played Dallas on Tuesday after press time and host Silverton on Friday.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.