Warrior men shoot down Riverhawks

A trio of Warriors shoots at a .477 clip to carry WWCC past Umpqua, 74-59, in the Clark tourney finale.

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — In a game in which their teammates shot a chilly 16 percent from the floor here Wednesday, a trio of Warriors fired away at a .477 clip to carry Walla Walla to a 74-59 victory over Umpqua during the final day of play at the Clark CC men’s basketball tournament.

Guards Jason Smith and Ben Searle and post Emery Henning supplied most of the offense as they combined for 61 points as the Warriors won for the second time here and improved to 8-3 in non-league games. Walla Walla won’t play again until Jan. 9 when the Warriors entertain rival Columbia Basin in an NWAACC Eastern Division opener in the Dietrich Dome.

Smith, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard, led all scorers with 25 points. Searle, a 6-4 sophomore, added 22 points, and Henning, a 6-10 soph, chipped in with 14.

Between them, they sank 21-of-44 field goals while everyone else was a combined 4-for-25. Smith and Searle were especially effective from outside the 3-point arc, combining to make 13-of-29 treys for a .448 percentage.

Three-point success went a long way in determining the game’s outcome. The Warriors were 15-for-47 overall from outside the arc while the Riverhawks shot 3-for-13 from downtown.

Overall, the Warriors were 25-for-69 (a .362 percentage) and Umpqua shot 23-for-61 (.377).

"It was kind of a hum-drum game in a lot of ways," Warriors coach Jeff Reinland said. "The gym was cold and so were we, and there were about five people watching. Clark got knocked out of the tournament early and the locals kind of lost interest."

Reinland also noted that his players "sat around all day Tuesday" after their scheduled game against Chemeketa was canceled because the Storm was unable to make the 60-mile trip up Interstate 5 due to a sudden winter storm. And in the aftermath of the storm, it took the Warriors about seven hours to make the trip home to Walla Walla because of icy road conditions.

"We were stuck on I-84 for a long time," Reinland said. "There were several semi trucks stuck on the highway and traffic was backed up. It took us about three hours to go 10 miles."

The Riverhawks held a 45-44 rebounding advantage, with Elisseo Nieves grabbing a game-high 11 boards. The Warriors were led by the trio of Henning, Aaron Corsi and Ryan Andrews, who collected nine rebounds each.

Umpqua also placed four in double figures. Kyle Krommings and Trevor Clemo scored 15 points each, Coleton Baker tallied 11 and Nieves chipped in with 10 to record a double-double.

Andrews had eight assists for the Warriors and Ledarius Stennis dished out six assists for the Riverhawks.

Trailing 42-24 at halftime, Umpqua outscored Walla Walla 35-32 in the second half and at one point closed to within six points with about seven minutes to play. But the Warriors hit on five of their next six 3-pointers, including three straight by Smith, and scored 17 unanswered points to take charge again.

"We can be a pretty explosive team," Reinland said. "We went from six points up (50-44) to a 67-44 lead in about a minute and a half. We are a very streaky team.

"But the one thing about this team that has surprised me is how good a defensive team we’ve become. Ryan Andrews is a great defender, D.J. Wright had matured and is a good defender, and Ben Searle has turned into a good defender as well."

WALLA WALLA (74) — Wright 0-3 0-0 0, Roll 102 0-0 3, Andrews 1-8 3-4 6, Steele 0-1 0-00, Gibson 0-3 0-0 0, Van de Graaf 0-e3 0-0 0, Fullerton 0-0 0-0 0, Schulz 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 9-17 0-0 25, Searle 7-19 2-3 22, Vlaco 0-2 0-0 0, Corsi 2-3 0-0 4, Henning 5-8 4-8 14. Totals 25-69 9-15 74.

UMPQUA (59) — Baker 5-10 0-0 11, Stennis 1-6 1-1 3, Pace 0-3 0-0 0, Krommings 5-11 4-5 15, Nieves 4-14 2-3 10, Black 1-4 2-2 5, Clemo 7-13 1-3 15. Totals 23-61 10-14 59.

Halftime — WWCC 42, Umpqua 24. 3-point goals — WWCC 15-47 (Wright 0-3, Roll 1-2, Andrews 1-7, Steele 0-1, Gibson 0-2, Van de Graaf 0-3, Smith 7-12, Searle 6-17), Umpqua 3-13 (Baker 1-4, Krommings 1-4, Nieves 0-1, Black 1-2, Clemo 0-2). Total fouls — Umpqua 16, WWCC 12. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Umpqua 45 (Nieves 11), WWCC 44 (Andrews 9, Corsi 9, Henning 9). Turnovers — Umpqua 15, WWCC 10. Assists — WWCC 20 (Andrews 8), Umpqua 12 (Stennis 6).

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