Knights win District 9 title; W-P No. 3

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WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Valley Academy rode out three weather postponements and claimed the Southeast 2B District 9 title in boys District 9 basketball action at DeSales’ gym on Tuesday. The Knights defeated Tri-Cities Prep, 53-36.

Waitsburg-Prescott defeated Asotin 53-47 to claim the SE2B’s No. 3 seed to the District 7/9 tournament.

The Knights open District 7/9 play against Northwest Christian at Waitsburg 7 p.m. Saturday.

W-P opens tourney play in Dayton at 2 p.m. Saturday against Lind-Ritzville-Sprague.

WWVA 53, Tri-Cities Prep 36

The Knights went to the drive to open against the Jaguars. Cameron Fitzgerald drove for the first two points of the game, Malcolm Shaw converted a drive to culminate an 8-2 WWVA start and T-C Prep never recovered.

WWVA converted 6-of-13 shots in the first period, and behind Shaw’s five, went up 13-7 after one quarter.

The Knights went to the long ball with treys from Matt Cosaert and two from Shaw to stretch the lead to 28-18 at intermission.

“That’s our game, to attack the rim hard,” Shaw said. “Once they start guarding us at the rim, we can kick it out to our shooters.”

“It has been a week since we’ve played, I was concerned about how we would come out,” WWVA coach Scott Wagner said. “I was happy with the defensive effort. We didn’t look rusty defensively.”

The Jaguars looked to score from 3-point land, but the Knights had the answer on this night. The Jaguars only connected on 3-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc, and Jorge Guajardo hit all three T-C Prep treys.

“We knew going in that they like to shoot the 3,” Shaw said. “My coach (Wagner) makes the defense to guard that 3-point shooting. We executed it today the way he wanted us to and came out with a win.”

The Knights added triples from Shaw and Ryan Ligman to stretch their lead to 38-25 after three periods. Guajardo hit a trey to cut the Knight lead to 40-30 with 6:17 left, but Dustin Rose hit consecutive 3s and the Knights were in control at 46-30 with 5:10 left.

The Knights hit 6-of-14 over the last eight minutes to win going away and post the 56-33 win.

“We rotated the ball and looked for each other tonight,” Wagner said. “We shot the ball pretty well (21-of-45). This is our first district championship. We won the league last year, but there was no district tournament. All year we’ve been getting better and better aiming for this time of year. There are five teams that come out of the District (7/9) Tournament, and we think that one of them will be us.”

Shaw led all scorers with 16 points, Cosaert finished with 14, and Rose connected for 10.

“I feel like we can make a long run going forward,” Shaw added.

Waitsburg-Prescott 53, Asotin 47

Waitsburg-Prescott looked like a team that hadn’t played in awhile as W-P shot 8-of-22 from the field, missed numerous layins, and turned the ball over 14 times in the first half. Asotin took advantage to lead 25-22 at the half.

“We haven’t played in over a week, and kept preparing for a next day game in practice,” W-P coach Tavis Crittenden said. “We didn’t come out with the best intensity. We picked up a lot of silly fouls and silly turnovers.”

Asotin, following a Beau Magnuson bucket off his own miss, stretched the lead to 18-10 with 6:27 left in the half.

“I’m thinking, we better step on the gas pedal and play some defense,” W-P point guard Devin Acevedo said. “I never gave up on us. We always come back.”

W-P went to Corey Brownlee. Brownlee scored nine points over the last 4:39 of the half to keep W-P within striking distance. Brownlee finished the first half with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“First half, we came out flat,” Acevedo said. “We have this team motto to fight on every possession, no matter what. Coach told us (at the half) to keep working, and we worked as hard as we could.”

Chance Leroue sandwiched two free throws and a bucket around a Connor Madden deuce — two of his Panther-leading 17 — as W-P clawed to within 27-26 one minute into the second half.

W-P got it tied with 40 seconds left in the third as Chris Campbell drained W-P’s only trey of the game, and they went to the fourth even at 31-all.

Acevedo drained two free throws to open the fourth to start an 8-0 run that culminated on a Talen Larsen feed to Leroue and a 39-31 W-P lead with 6:40 left.

The Panthers never recovered as Owen Lanning scored seven in the quarter and W-P hit 8-of-11 from the field to pull out the 53-47 win.

“We played terrible for two quarters,” Acevedo said. “We just exploded in the fourth. We started having more fun with it. We were too serious at the beginning.”

Brownlee turned in a huge double-double, 18 points and 19 rebounds, to lead W-P. Lanning and Leroue each finished with 11 points.

“We were more aggressive attacking the basket in the second half,” Crittenden said. “We got relaxed and it started to flow for us. We kept fighting back and chipping away. It was a good team win.”

WWVA 53, Tri-Cities Prep 36

TCP (36) — Guajardo 3 6-6 15, Perez 4 2-2 10, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Montelongo 1 0-0 2, D. Pedersein 3 0-4 6, Loftus 0 1-2 1, Ghirardo 0 0-0 0, Cole 1 0-0 2, B. Pedersen 0 0-0 0. Totals 12-45 9-14 36.

WWVA (53) — Shaw 6 1-1 16, Cosaert 5 2-2 14, Zhang 0 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 1 0-2 2, Hutton 1 0-0 2, Ligman 1 0-0 3, Rose 4 0-2 10, King 3 0-0 6, Dybdahl 0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 3-7 53.

T-C Prep 7 11 7 11 — 36

WWVA 13 15 10 15 — 53

3-point goals — TCP 3 (Guajardo 3), WWVA 7 (Shaw 3, Cosaert, Ligman, Rose 2). Total fouls — TCP 6, WWVA 10. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — TCP 29 (Guajardo 6), WWVA 40 (King 8). Turnovers — TCP 15, WWVA 21. Assists — TCP 6 (Montelongo 3), WWVA 12 (Fitzgerald 4).

Waitsburg-Prescott 53, ASOTIN 47

W-P (53) — Dunn 1 0-0 2, Gradwohl 0 0-0 0, Pearson 0 0-0 0, Dozier 0 0-0 0, Campbell 1 2-2 5, Brownlee 7 4-9 18, Lanning 5 1-2 11, Leroue 4 3-4 11, Acevedo 1 3-4 5, Larsen 0 0-0 0, Alexenko 0 1-2 1. Totals 19-41 14-23 53.

ASOTIN (47) — Weakland 0 0-0 0, Daily 0 2-2 2, Bl. Magnuson 2 2-3 6, Martinez 3 2-4 8, Madden 5 7-8 17, Krull 2 0-0 4, Be. Magnuson 3 1-3 7, Whitmore 1 0-0 3, Slaybaugh 0 0-0 0, Watson 0 0-0 0. Totals 17-61 14-20 47.

W-P 8 14 9 22 — 53

Asotin 13 12 6 16 — 47

3-point goals — W-P (Campbell), Aso (Whitmore). Total fouls — W-P 21, Aso 20. Fouled out — W-P (Leroue), Aso (Krull, Whitmore). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — W-P 42 (Brownlee 19), Aso 34 (Madden 9). Turnovers — W-P 26, Aso 13. Assists — W-P 9 (Acevedo 2, Dunn 2, Larsen 2), Aso 4.

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