BOYS BASKETBALL - Bruins retain No. 4 seed despite the loss
by: David Ball, Centennial guard Jacob Shoda drives into the lane during the Eagles' 49-47 win against Barlow on Thursday night. The Eagles take the No. 5 seed and a five-game win streak into next week's playoffs.

The Centennial boys basketball team built a double-digit lead in the second half and held off a hard-charging Barlow squad down the stretch to pick up a 49-47 win Thursday night.

The Eagles built a 43-32 lead late in the third period when Jacob Shoda intercepted a pass at midcourt and beat Barlow's defense down court for an easy layin.

Matt DeLaunay led the Bruins' comeback in the fourth period, bringing Barlow within two points when he scored on an offensive putback at the front of the rim with 1:56 to play. Barlow had a chance to tie the game on its next possession, but Centennial guard Dialo Gaston made a steal along the sideline that allowed the Eagles to run time off the clock.

'He (Dustin Jones) lost it in the air, and it seemed like it was hanging there in slow motion,' Gaston said. 'I just tried to get it into my hands as fast as I could.'

Barlow eventually resorted to fouling, but Gaston made 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

The Eagles capped the regular season with five straight wins and pulled even with Barlow (8-6) for fourth place in the final standings. However, the Bruins retained the No. 4 seed into the playoffs due to their mid-season win against Mount Hood champion Central Catholic.

• In other MHC action, David Douglas blew out Hood River 65-37 to give the Eagles a winless season in their return to the league. Gresham picked up a lopsided 68-45 win at Reynolds, and Central Catholic cruised past Sandy 67-46.

Extended basketball coverage, including a state playoff preview, will appear in the Saturday, Feb. 24, issue of the Gresham Outlook.

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