Jason Kananin Electric as River Ridge Advances in Basketball Tournament

river ridge boys basketball
River Ridge’s Anthony Parker (#11) and Jason Kananin (#24) ramp up the defensive pressure during the Hawks 83-77 victory in the 2A District IV tournament last week. Led by head coach John Barbee, River Ridge will advance to the WIAA Hardwood Classic in Yakima if they defeat White River on Saturday in the regional round of the 2A boys state tournament.


By Tom Rohrer

hanson motors sponsorWhen a basketball player enters “the zone,” the rim expands to the size of a traffic circle in the shooter’s mind.

For River Ridge’s Jason Kananin, the hoop likely surpassed the Bermuda Triangle or the Artic Cirlce.

Kananin was electric Thursday night, knocking down eight three pointers in the Hawks 83-77 victory over Centralia High School in a 2A District IV tournament game.

The Hawks, who led Centralia 50-38 at the half, sustained a frantic Tiger run in the fourth quarter before pulling away with free-throws in the final minute.

Kananin was hot from the get-go, making four three-pointers in the first quarter before “cooling off” with one more in the second quarter and three triples in the third.

The sophomore guard finished with 31 points, one of three Hawks players in double figures.

Guard Kobe Key (11 points) and forward Israel Williams (16 points) were the main River Ridge options aside from their fellow sophomore classmate.

Centralia cut the River Ridge lead to ten with six minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but were unable to stop the Hawks when they needed to most.

Williams scored on a beautiful out-of-bounds play to put the Hawks up 72-61 with little over five minutes remaining, taking the wind out of a bi-partisan Tiger crowd.

The Tigers were led by Baylor Scott’s 19 points and 15 more from Oscar Jackson..

Fighting for their right to continue their season, River Ridge will be in the exact same situation Saturday night.  They will take on Tumwater at Capital High School for a spot in the regional round of the 2A State Tournament.   The two schools split their two regular season meetings, with Tumwater winning 78-69 in their most recent match-up on February 11.

Tip-off Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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