Warrior men sizzle in win over Centralia at Clark tournament

The WWCC men sink 15-of-33 3-pointers in the 98-71 tourney victory at Clark CC in Vancouver.

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — Walla Walla sizzled from outside the 3-point arc here Monday as the Warriors buried Centralia 98-71 during the first day of a three-day community college men’s basketball tournament at Clark CC.

Led by Jason Smith’s 19-point night, which included 5-for-12 shooting from downtown, Walla Walla stormed out to a 48-27 halftime lead and continued to pull away after the intermission for its seventh victory in nine games so far this season. The Warriors are in action here again tonight and Wednesday before opening NWAACC Eastern Division play Jan. 9 in the Dietrich Dome against rival Columbia Basin.

"We’re going to have our hands full tonight," WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said of second-ranked and undefeated Chemeketa, which defeated Seattle 104-97 in double-overtime Monday. Tonight’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the Warriors will play either for the championship at 4 p.m. or for third place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Warriors shot 45 percent from the field overall (35-for-77) and 45 percent from 3-point distance (15-for-33) to more than offset the Penguins’ big advantage from the free-throw line. Clark paraded to the line 43 times and cashed in 26 points compared to WWCC’s 13-for-22 effort from the line.

Clark was limited to 39 percent shooting from the field (22-for-56) and sank just one of its seven shots from outside the arc.

"We came out hot and played pretty well," Reinland said. "We had them by 20 at halftime and they never got any closer in the second half."

Emery Henning and Aaron Corsi tallied 15 points each for WWCC and were a combined 12-for-21 from the field. Ben Searle was also in double figures with 14 points.

Craig Seiler tallied 15 points to lead four Penguins in double figures. Damien Fisher scored 11 points and Kamal Smith and Elijah Yaw added 10 apiece.

Ryan Andrews, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, had a strong stat line for the Warriors as he totaled eight points and team-high marks of 15 rebounds and eight assists. Walla Walla outboarded Clark 50-41.

"Ryan had a great all-around game," Reinland said. "And Aaron Corsi came in and played really well when Emery (Henning) got into foul trouble. That was good for us."

WALLA WALLA (98) — Wright 1-3 0-0 3, Roll 2-5 4-4 9, Andrews 3-5 0-0 10, Steele 0-1 0-0 0, Gibson 0-2 0-1 0, Van de Graaf 1-3 0-0 3, Fullerton 2-2 1-2 5, Schulz 3-3 0-0 7, Smith 7-17 0-0 19, Searle 4-13 2-3 14, Vlaco 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Corsi 6-12 3-7 15, Henning 6-9 3-5 15, Baker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-77 13-22 98.

CENTRALIA (71) — Godsey 0-1 0-0 0, Seiler 4-10 7-9 15, J. DeVries 4-6 0-0 8, D. DeVries 3-7 0-0 7, Fisher 5-8 1-5 11, Smith 2-10 6-9 10, Mosley-Bolds 0-5 7-8 7, Booth 0-1 3-4 3, Hertz 0-1 0-0 0, Yaw 4-7 2-4 10. Totals 22-58 26-43 71.

Halftime — WWCC 48, Centralia 27. 3-point goals — WWCC 15-33 (Wright 1-2, Roll 1-1, Andrews 2-2, Steele 0-1, Van de Graaf 1-3, Schulz 1-1, Smith 5-12, Searle 4-11, Vlaco 0-1), Centralia 1-7 (D. DeVries 1-4, Smith 0-2, Mosley-Bolds 0-1). Total fouls — WWCC 25, Centralia 16. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — WWCC 50 (Andrews 15), Centralia 41 (Smith 7, Yaw 7). Turnovers — Centralia 16, WWCC 11. Assists — WWCC 24 (Andrews 8), Centralia 10 (Smith 4).

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