By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was their closest game of the year, but it was probably one of the hardest pills to swallow knowing how close they were to the win.
Central, with only one senior on their roster, found themselves down 59-49 in the closing minutes of Wilson’s 64-58 victory in a game where the Panthers found themselves down 30-24 at the halftime break.
“All we want to do is win, that’s why we come out here,” said Adrien Barba. “It’s good to come into this tournament and play good teams, we’re all still learning together. We’re going to get a win here soon, it was a slow start.”
Their second game at the Capitol City Classic was a polar opposite to their opening game against 5A Power Wilsonville on Wednesday as Barba (10), Michael Young (10), Gabe Girod (14) and Brooks Ferguson (13) scored in double-figures as a stroke of luck came their way Saturday morning.
With 2:45 remaining in the game, a Jonah Jones personal foul and a technical foul on the Trojans Leo Sewell opened the door for the Central to possibly mount a late-game rally.
Barba and Girod both split the four free throws, two apiece, making all four to make it a 59-53 game. It was a start of a 8-0 run capped by a three-pointer by Brandon Broadus with 1:35 left in the game down 59-57.
“It was good to see us work together and just pull through,” said Barba. “We had a couple of good quarters, we didn’t come out with the win, it sucks but we’ll get them next time.”
The Panthers had their chances at the line and through their defense to possibly complete the comeback, but Wilson would survive the Central threat to pick up their first win of the CCC-tournament at Willamette University.
Logan Robertson led the Trojans with 15 points as the advance to play Corvallis Sunday at 4:30pm. The Panthers play Scappoose at 1:30pm Sunday afternoon.