Umpqua can’t get by Centralia in double overtime
WINCHESTER — Marqus Gilson was uncontrollable in the first half and the rest of the Centralia Blazers roster was a handful the rest of the game.
Not that Umpqua didn’t try to counter Gilson and his clan, but the Riverhawks weren’t able to get the critical stop at the key moment on Sunday and fell in double overtime, 92-91, in the final game of the nonconference NWAC Crossover Tournament.
“It was a good game, it was intense, and those are the games we learn the most in,” UCC freshman guard Tucker Peterson said. “Obviously we’d like to come with the win, but it’s good to be in those situations and learning from close games when we’re down the stretch.”
Peterson came off the bench to help spark the Riverhawks in the second half. He scored 12 points in 14 minutes over the contest’s final 30, including four free throws that put UCC up in the final two minutes.
“Tucker stepped up, he played well,” Umpqua coach Daniel Leeworthy said. “We talked about being consistent and he’s someone that can get to the rim for us. He stepped up and made some tough shots for us, and then Max (Martin) hit a big shot for us to send it to double overtime.”
Centralia (4-3) got 36 points and 12 rebounds from Gilson — 22 and four in the first half when the Blazers built a 38-30 lead — and the Blazers crafted a 14-point advantage with 13:55 left in regulation as others knocked down outside jumper after outside jumper.
“We really couldn’t defend No. 24 (Gilson) in the first half and we really couldn’t guard him in the second half, either. We went zone and they were hitting shots against us.”
Down 53-39, the Riverhawks (5-6) came back behind Peterson, Kolten Mortensen, Eric Klekas, Martin and the rest of their cast of characters, closing the second half on a 30-16 run to force overtime.
“We talked about it in the huddle that you have to start these overtime periods on the right foot,” Leeworthy said. “The team that does more times than not wins.”
Centralia won the opening tip in both OTs and played with the edge for most of both extra five-minute periods.
At the end of the first, Klekas missed a 3-pointer from the top that would have won the game, but Martin corralled the rebound and arced in a tying 2 at the buzzer.
“I saw Eric put up a shot and I wasn’t going to just stand there and watch it,” Martin said. “It felt like I got a good look and I stuck it. It gave us a little momentum, but we just couldn’t get it in the second overtime.”
Trailing by one with the clock winding down, UCC called a timeout with 4.7 seconds left in the second OT. Sophomore Connor Shaw took, and hit, a 3-pointer as the whistle blew, leaving Umpqua down one and needing to inbound and get a shot up.
“You never know when to call a timeout,” Shaw said. “We had a game at Lane where we didn’t call a timeout and turned it over — sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Shaw got the ball on the inbounds play, but never got a good look at the basket and his last shot was off the mark. He finished with nine points and five assists.
“That last inbounds, I don’t want to talk about the referees causing things, but I thought I got bumped on the last play,” Shaw said. “I felt like they were getting some calls, some and-ones toward the end that were big ones.
“You just have to put yourself in a position where you don’t need to rely on a call.”
That was one thing Umpqua didn’t accomplish in its final tuneup before Christmas. The Riverhawks will host Lower Columbia on Dec. 29 in their next game and open Southern Region action on Jan. 5 at Mt. Hood.
Umpqua’s second-leading scorer on the season, Shaw and leading-scorer Klekas had atypical shooting games against Centralia. The dynamic sophomore duo combined to go 8-for-29 from the field, including 6-for-17 from 3-point range. Klekas had 17 points.
Martin finished with 13 points for UCC, while Mortensen had 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Gilson got some scoring help from Donte’ Dixon and Liam Murphy, both of whom had 13 points. Dixon did all of his scoring in the second half and overtime.
“We had our chances,” Martin said. “We went on a run there with about 12 minutes to go and tied it. We had a good group in there with Tucker leading the way, and we just needed a couple rebounds on some missed free throws.
“This stings a little bit and we’ll let it.”
“We needed to treat these guys more like Spokane,” Shaw said. “We were so intrigued and excited to play Spokane, that’s where our mind was all weekend. I don’t know if we thought we had arrived or whatever, but they hit us in the face in the first half. If we play them again we will prepare better. We’ve never played them before, whereas Spokane we’ve played three times before.”
CENTRALIA (92) — Marqus Gilson 16-28 3-6 36, Dixon 4-11 3-10 13, Prangley 2-3 0-0 4, Hoff 1-3 1-1 4, Stanley 2-3 0-0 6, Price 3-8 0-0 7, Clarke 3-8 0-0 7, Murphy 5-8 2-2 13, Eiman 0-1 0-0 0, Harding 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 37-75 9-19 92.
UMPQUA (91) — Kolten Mortensen 9-10 1-1 19, Shaw 3-11 2-2 9, Martin 5-8 0-0 13, Benzel 3-8 1-1 7, Klekas 5-18 2-2 17, Morrill-Keeler 3-7 3-3 9, Gilbert 1-6 0-0 3, Campbell 0 0-0 0, Sutton 1-1 0-0 2, Peterson 4-7 4-4 12. Totals 34-76 13-13 91.
Halftime — Centralia 38-30. End of Regulation — Tied 69-69. End of First Overtime — Tied 81-81. 3-Point Goals — Cen. 9-19 (Dixon 2-3, Hoff 1-2, Gilson 1-2, Stanley 2-3, Price 1-4, Clarke 1-4, Murphy 1-1), UCC 10-30 (Shaw 1-3, Martin 3-6, Benzel 0-1, Klekas 5-12, Morrill-Keeler 0-2, Gilbert 1-4). Total Fouls — Cen. 11, UCC 18. Rebounds — Cen. 40 (Gilson 12), UCC 40 (Mortensen 10). Assists — Cen. 15 Clarke 4), UCC 22 (Shaw 5). Turnovers — Cen. 18, UCC 18. Technicals — Gilson.