Olympic succumbs to Centralia 58-39 while the baseball team swept Pierce and track and field was in action Saturday

The Olympic College Rangers didn’t have an answer to Centralia’s size as the Blazers beat OC 58-39 at the Northwest Athletic Conference Championships Saturday at Everett College.

The Rangers (11-18) saw their season end in the Sweet 16 as Centralia used its height to successfully defend itself and prevent Olympic’s offense from gaining any momentum. Olympic shot just 12-for-57 from the field for 23.5 percent for the game, 4-for-19 from 3-point range, 21.1 percent, and 11-for-17 from the free-throw line for 64 percent.

The Rangers also committed 21 turnovers, many which were caused by a Centralia deflection or batted ball.

Danielle Monzon of Olympic College drives against Centralia's defenders in an NWAC tournament women's basketball game on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Everett College. Centralia won 58-39. (Photo courtesy/NWAC Network)
Danielle Monzon of Olympic College drives against Centralia’s defenders in an NWAC tournament women’s basketball game on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Everett College. Centralia won 58-39. (Photo courtesy/NWAC Network)

“It was an emotional postgame in that the sophomores worked really hard to get us here today and I tried to impart on them, regardless of the outcome, that this was a big deal getting here,” OC coach Dave Hawkins said, “but not just squeaking in. They were a No. 2 seed and they put together an incredible year when things were looking bleak in December.”

Trailing 16-10 after the first period, OC’s Sarah Howerton drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to cut the Blazers lead to 18-13. Olympic hung around to within five to six-points before Natalee Gordon’s jumper closed to within two, 19-17. 

But the Blazers answered right away to go up 23-18 to end the third. Danielle Monzon was fouled driving toward the basket by Centralia’s Isabella Elwood with 7:49 left in the fourth and made both free throws to cut the lead to 25-20. But, again, the Blazers went on a mini-run to lead 27-20. 

A Monzon jumper followed by a free throw and a Gordon bucket got the Rangers within 27-25 with 6:21 left but that would be as close as OC would get as Centralia went on a 21-4 run to finish the game.

“We couldn’t convert,” Hawkins said of the Rangers’ offensive struggle. “They’re long and athletic and that was causing us problems. We knew the going in. We thought we’d get into the paint a bit, beat them off the dribble and that didn’t really happen.”

Sophomore point guard Monzon led Olympic with 12 points. Sophomore Katie Campana finished with eight rebounds but was held scoreless. Gordon also grabbed eight rebounds and had nine points. Brittni Blake led all Rangers with 10 rebounds. Freshman Hailey Simonson came off the bench to chip in six points. 

Track and Field: Archer wins triple jump 

Zion Archer, a freshman from Central Kitsap, won the men’s triple jump at the Pacific Lutheran University Open on Saturday.

Archer’s winning jump of 45 feet, 10 inches was completed on his third attempt. 

OC sophomore Kaitlyn Paller placed second in the women’s discus with a throw of 127 feet on her second attempt. Paller was also second in the shot put with a throw of 39-4. 

OC’s Jo Kirk-Woodbury placed third in the men’s hammer throw of 162-02, breaking Colton Paller’s school record of 159-0 and was fourth in the shot put, 41-9. 

OC’s Devin Merksick finished second in the high jump, 6-3.25, and Joshua Steffen was third in the long jump with a leap of 21-0.5. He was third in the triple jump, 42-11.5. 

Other top three finishes for Olympic included Maartin Cornyn who was third in the 10,000 race in 36 minutes, 13.35 seconds. Timothy Lara was fifth in 38:17.18.

The Rangers 4×100 relay of Dominic Telemaque, Steffen, Archer and James Dillow, placed fourth with a time of 43.01.

In the team standings, Olympic’s men’s team was third with 66 points while the women’s team was sixth with 20 points. 

Baseball: Rangers sweep Pierce College

The Rangers baseball team completed a non-league sweep of Pierce College on Saturday by identical 1-0 scores at Knights Field in Bremerton.

In the opener, the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Tanner Clabaugh reached base on a hit by pitch, and Ben Koler’s singled to the shortstop as Clabaugh was out at second. Kade Kupihea then singled to center to advance Koler to second. 

Cesar Cuevas then singled to center to score Koler for the eventual game-winning run to the delight of the Rangers’ dugout. 

OC’s James Gunther entered and walked the first batter he saw but then struck out Colby Tam swimming and Clay Spacher grounded into a game-ending 6-4–3 double play. Jared Scott earned the win for OC, going eight innings, giving up just four hits and no earned runs while striking out five and walking one.

In the second game, the Rangers scored their lone run in the bottom of the first when Koler scored on a Cooper Bailey-Parsons line out to first base.

That would be it as the game once again turned into a pitcher’s duel as Kyler Olsen picked up the win for OC, going eight innings, striking out six, walking one and scattering five hits. Scott Gunther was 2-of-3 for the Rangers.

Olympic travels to Tacoma to take on Pierce on Sunday in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. 

NOTE: Olympic’s softball team played a doubleheader at the RAC in Lacey at the NWAC Inter-Region tournament on Saturday, however, scores were not available by publishing time of this story.

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