Warriors down Chukars, 95-76


WALLA WALLA — Sophomore guard Dylan Radliff stroked a 3-pointer with 10:27 showing on the first-half clock that gave Walla Walla a 13-point advantage, 22-9, over visiting Treasure Valley here late Saturday afternoon in the Dietrich Dome.

For the next 29 minutes and 47 seconds of the NWAACC Eastern Region men’s basketball game, the Warriors nursed that lead, never up by more than 13 points and never allowing the Chukars to draw closer than seven points.

Finally, with 1:40 remaining in the game, sophomore Hunter Hahn sank a pair of free throws that put the Walla Wallans on top by 15 points, 91-76. Four more free throws by freshman Case Rada down the stretch closed out WWCC’s 95-76 victory that breathed new life into WWCC’s postseason hopes.

“This has been a great week for us,” Warriors coach Jeff Reinland said, noting that WWCC had also defeated Columbia Basin 89-50 Wednesday night in Pasco. “We played great basketball on Wednesday. We didn’t play as great tonight, but we played pretty good.

“And that after a terrible week when we lost to Spokane (97-59 in the dome) and Big Bend (86-70 in Moses Lake).”

The Warriors moved back above the .500 mark on the season at 11-10 and improved to 5-4 in the East. Treasure Valley fell to 5-4 and is 11-9 on the year.

“They may be the most talented team in our division,” Reinland said of the Chukars. “And now we are even with them in the standings and we split with them for the year.”

Big Bend went into Saturday’s play leading the division with a 7-1 record. Yakima Valley and Spokane were at 5-3 prior to Saturday’s play. Four East teams qualify for the conference tournament.

“We’re probably going to have to win the rest of our games to get in,” said Reinland, who takes his team to Yakima for a game Wednesday before returning home to entertain Wenatchee on Saturday.

The Warriors had to scrape and scratch for Saturday’s victory over a lightning-quick Treasure Valley team, that attacked the basket on nearly every possession, especially in the second half.

“That’s the way teams play in the NWAACC these days,” Reinland said. “If they get behind, they just take it to the basket every time. Thery get more possessions that way, and they put the game in the hands of the officials and hope they get lucky.”

Luck was not on Treasure Valley’s side Saturday. Trailing 47-36 at halftime, the Chukars were never able to draw closer than nine points the rest of the way as the Warriors answered each and every advance.

Alex Campbell’s basket with four minutes to play pulled the Chukars within nine points at 85-76. It was to be Treasure Valley’s final two points of the game as the visitors missed their final 10 field-goal tries and WWCC went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line down the stretch.

Case Rada led the Warriors with 30 points and Hahn came off the bench to score 24. Radliff finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Eric Harr was a fourth Warrior in double figures with 12 points.

Chris Willis scored 23 points and snagged a game-high 11 rebounds to lead Treasure Valley.



TREASURE VALLEY (76) — Mattox 5-12 4-4 15, Willis 10-20 2-5 23, J. Williams 0-0 0-0 0, McKie 0-1 0-0 0, Fletcher 6-20 4-4 16, Campbell 3-7 0-0 8, Coffin 4-12 2-2 10, Livingston 0-2 0-0 0, Burgess 1-2 0-0 2, Cooper 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-6 2-2 2. Totals 29-83 14-17 76.

WALLA WALLA (95) — Radliff 6-11 0-2 13, Rada 9-25 9-11 30, Mills 1-2 1-2 3, Reich 1-5 2-2 5, Hahn 9-14 3-4 24, Harr 3-8 5-6 12, Nooner 3-3 0-0 6, Scharf 0-2 2-4 2, Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-71 22-31 95.

Halftime — WWCC 47, TVCC 36. 3-point goals — TVCC 4-18 (Mattox 1-5, Willis 1-2, Fletcher 0-4, Campbell 2-4, Coffin 0-1, Livingston 0-2), WWCC 9-28 (Radliff 1-4, Rada 3-11, Reich 1-3, Hahn 3-4, Harr 1-6). Total fouls — TVCC 25, Walla Walla 17. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — Yakima (Fletcher). Rebounds — TVCC 40 (Willis 11), WWCC 40 (Radliff 8). Turnovers — WWCC 10, TVCC 9. Assists — WWCC 18 (Radliff 7), Yakima 9 (Mattox 4).


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