PREP BASKETBALL - Blue Devil boys pick up win over Pasco

Nine Wa-Hi boys score in the 45-41 win over the Bulldogs Friday.

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Wa-Hi's Seth Alden (34) dodges through three Pasco Bulldog defenders during their conference opening game Friday night at Wa-Hi.

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Wa-Hi's Moe Handcox (20) hauls in a long, high pass in free space near the corner of the court during the Blue Devils' game against Pasco.

WALLA WALLA - From the time they begin dribbling a basketball, youngsters are often encouraged by coaches and mentors to follow their shot on a miss from either the field or the free throw line.

Wa-Hi's Matt Watson followed through on that unwritten rule after missing the front end of a 1-and-1 in the closing seconds of the Blue Devils' home opener with Pasco on Friday night.

Watson grabbed the errant toss and muscled in the final two of his team-high 10 points with 22 seconds left that sealed Wa-Hi's first victory of the young season - a 45-41 triumph.

"We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys," said Wa-Hi coach John Golden.

Wa-Hi played 12 players and nine of them scored.

Blue Devil Seth Alden gave the home team Friday's initial lead with a right-angle 3-pointer at the 7:08 mark of the opening quarter.

After relinquishing the next four points, Wa-Hi went on a 7-0 run that climaxed on an Alex Ceron layin off an Alden assist with 2:05 left in the period.

Pasco tallied five of the next seven points before a Watson layin gave the Blue Devils a 14-10 lead at the quarter break.

Wa-Hi managed only two field goals and six points in the second quarter. Despite those less-than-gaudy numbers, and field-goal droughts of 3:03 and 4:41, the Blue Devils trailed by just three, 23-20, at halftime.

The Bulldogs came out of the locker room with a 6-2 spurt that extended their margin to seven, 29-22, early in period three.

Wa-Hi responded with a lead-changing, 8-0 surge that Ceron ended with an inside basket at the 1:15 mark.

Pasco put up the final five points of the quarter, and increased its lead to six, 36-30, when Zach Mendoza - who led all scorers with 22 points - opened the fourth quarter scoring on a 2-point jumper with 7:23 left.

The Blue Devils retaliated with a 9-2 blitz over the next three minutes-plus to reclaim the lead, 39-38. Alden converted an alley-oop pass with 4:15 to go.

Julian Figueroa provided Pasco with its last lead, 40-39, with a layup at the 4:03 mark.

A layin by Ceron with 3:50 remaining put Wa-Hi in front for keeps.

Handcox registered an offensive rebound and basket that pushed the Blue Devils' lead to three, 43-40, prior to Watson's game-clinching efforts.

Wa-Hi shot 52 percent in the second half after a 26-percent performance in quarters one and two.

"We took better shots in the second half," Golden said.

Pasco shot just 35 percent after intermission and 37 percent for the game.

"In the second half, we played a lot better defense," Golden said. "We put the clamps on them and took away what they were trying to do. We went small to match their quickness. Josh Eggers sparked us defensively. He hit a couple of shots and gave us great minutes.

"We'll look to different guys each night," Golden said. "Our guys are O.K. with that.

Wa-Hi played at Kennewick Saturday night.

Wa-Hi 45, Pasco 41

PASCO (41) - Search 1-5 0-0 2, Z. Mendoza 9-16 2-2 22, Murillo 0-0 0-0 0, Burrell 2-10 0-0 5, Vera 0-1 1-2 1, Figueroa 3-8 0-0 6, Coleman 0-0 0-0 0, B. Mendoza 0-1 0-0 0, Cleveland 0-0 5-6 5. Totals 15-41 8-10 41.

WA-HI (45) - Toon 2-4 0-0 4, Ceron 3-6 0-0 6, Swenson 0-0 0-0 0, Handcox 2-8 1-2 6, Torres 0-3 2-2 2, Peasley 0-0 0-0 0, Eggers 2-4 0-2 2, Campeau 1-2 0-0 2, Alden 4-11 0-1 9, Dunovant 0-2 0-0 0, Ferenz 1-2 0-0 2, Watson 4-10 2-3 10. Totals 19-52 5-10 45.

Pasco 10 13 11 7 - 41

Wa-Hi 14 6 10 15 - 45

3-point goals - Pasco 3-14 (Z. Mendoza 2-3, Burrell 1-8, B. Mendoza 0-1, Figueroa 0-2), Wa-Hi 2-12 (Handcox 1-4, Alden 1-6, Ceron 0-1, Eggers 0-1). Total fouls-Pasco 12, Wa-Hi 10. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-Pasco 28 (Vera 7), Wa-Hi 38 (Ferenz 7, Watson 7). Turnovers-Pasco 12, Wa-Hi 14. Assists-Pasco 4 (Search, Murillo, Burrell, B. Mendoza), Wa-Hi 13 (Handcox 3, Alden 3).

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