The Central Catholic High boys basketball team played all sorts of teams and all sorts of styles on its way to winning a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship this season.
But the Raiders ran into something new in their playoff opener against Colfax.
The Falcons ran a patient, methodical offense with a roster loaded with height that gave the Raiders troubles throughout the game. Guard Jeff Divine scored 17 points, leading No. 12 Colfax to a 50-39 victory over No. 5 Central Catholic in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs at Central Catholic High on Wednesday night.
"We knew they were going to be a tough team," said Central Catholic forward Ken Mashinchi, who scored 13 points. "They were much better than a 12 seed."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
Colfax went inside early, with 6-foot-6-inch senior Ethan Guiles scoring his team's first eight points as the Falcons led 12-11 after the first quarter. Colfax scored the first seven points of the second quarter and, after a Mashinchi layup, scored the next 10 points to pull away.
"They ran everything so crisp," Mashinchi said. "We hadn't played a team that was so consistent on offense like that."
Colfax maintained its lead through much of the second half while holding Central Catholic scoreless for a nearly seven-minute span that stretched from the third to the fourth quarter. Mashinchi hit two 3-pointers in a late attempt at a rally, but the Falcons put it away.
"We got no free looks with their defense," Central Catholic coach Mike Wilson said.
Colfax (17-10) advanced to a quarterfinal game at No. 4 San Juan, a 48-45 winner over Bret Harte.
The Raiders, meanwhile, will reflect on a league championship season.
"We were down two games with three to go and won a league title," Mashinchi said. "We got a home playoff game. We're happy about a lot of things."
That late-season run being the highlight.
"We had our slump in league, but the guys sucked it up," Wilson said. "Won six in a row to close it out. I'm proud of them."
Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.