Wa-Hi boys triumph over Pasco, 61-51

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WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s boys kept their league and overall records unblemished Saturday night with a 61-51 victory over Pasco in Mid-Columbia Conference basketball action at the Blue Devil gym.

Six-foot-8 senior post Tanner Cranor scored a game-high 20 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the low block as Wa-Hi improved to 4-0 in league and 8-0 overall.

“We did a good job of getting the ball inside,” Wa-Hi coach John Golden said. “Tanner did a great job.

“The guys have earned it,” Golden said of his team’s unbeaten status. “We’ve become a pretty good team. The kids are starting to believe in themselves. They work really hard. We have a log way to go, but we’ve put ourselves in a good spot in the first half of the season.”

The Blue Devils prevailed despite a 20-point effort from Pasco’s Julian Figueroa.

Despite Figueroa’s heroics, the Bulldogs shot just 29 percent from the field (15-of-51).

“I’ll take that anytime,” Golden said. “We’ve come a really long way defensively.”

Wa-Hi used a 10-2 run over a four-minute, two-second stretch in the opening quarter to grab a 12-4 lead at the 3:22 mark of the period. It extended the margin to 10, 17-7, on a Parker Toon 3-pointer with 1:02 on the clock.

The Bulldogs twice pulled within two, 19-17 and 21-19, early in the second quarter.

A 25-23 Blue Devil edge became a nine-point spread, 32-23, after a 7-0 surge that Cranor started with a low-block bucket with 2:36 remaining and finished at the 1:32 mark on a reverse lay-in.

Wa-Hi led 34-27 at halftime. The Bulldogs stayed close by going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Pasco cut the Blue Devil advantage to three, 38-35, on an Efrain Cardoza trey with 3:35 to go in the third quarter.

But the Blue Devils reclaimed the momentum with a 9-0 blitz that resulted in a 47-35 lead 56 seconds prior to the third-quarter buzzer. Andrew Thonney contributed lay-ups on back-to-back transition opportunities, Gabe Porter sank two free throws, and Aaron Eggart dropped in a left-angle 3.

Wa-Hi led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter and coasted home with the double-digit triumph.

One other Blue Devil joined Cranor in double figures. Erik Klicker scored 12 points and made all five of his free-throw chances in the game.

“The kids all get along,” Golden said. “They do things together. They’re great to be around. We’ve got to keep it going.”

The Blue Devils travel to Lewiston for the two-day Avista Holiday tournament at Lewis Clark State College. Their tourney opener is Friday against Clarkston.

Wa-Hi 61, Pasco 51

PASCO (51) SEmD Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Arroyo 2-3 0-0 4, Figueroa 8-19 2-3 20, Cardoza 3-14 4-5 12, Ballardo 0-1 1-2 1, Miller 2-9 2-2 6, Murillo 0-1 0-0 0, Cobian 0-0 0-0 0, Young 0-1 0-0 0, Cruz 0-3 8-8 8. Totals 15-51 17-20 51.

WA-HI (61) SEmD Toon 1-1 0-1 3, Atkinson 0-0 0-0 0, Klicker 3-10 5-5 12, Porter 2-7 3-5 8, Thonney 4-7 0-0 9, Eggart 2-4 0-0 5, Hogan 0-0 0-0 0, Knillman 0-0 0-0 0, Arias 0-4 0-0 0, Gilmore 0-1 0-0 0, Cranor 10-18 0-1 20, Warriner 1-3 2-3 4. Totals 23-55 10-15 61.

Pasco 13 14 8 16 — 51

Wa-Hi 19 15 13 14 — 61

3-point goals SEmD Pasco 4-16 (Cardoza 2-6, Figueroa 2-8, Miller 0-2), Wa-Hi 5-15 (Toon 1-1, Porter 1-1, Eggart 1-2, Thonney 1-3, Klicker 1-7, Arias 0-1). Total fouls—Pasco 14, Wa-Hi 15. Fouled out— none. Technical fouls—Pasco (Miller). Rebounds— Pasco 34 (Figueroa 6, Cruz 6), Wa-Hi 39 (Thonney 7). Turnovers—Pasco 14, Wa-Hi 16. Assists— Pasco 2 (Figueroa 1, Cardoza 1), Wa-Hi 19 (Eggart 7).

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