COLLEGE PLACE — Walla Walla Valley Academy lost its offense at the end of the third quarter and never found it before the final horn sounded here Tuesday, as the Dayton Bulldogs pulled off the 40-35 Southeast B Southern Division upset stunner over the Knights in overtime. The Knights managed to muster a mere three points in the game’s last 12 minutes.
"It was a brutal game," WWVA coach Les Balk said. "The game was their style. It was slow, ugly basketball. That’s not what we’re good at."
"We ran when we could and slowed it down when we had to," Dayton coach Roy Ramirez said. "I think our defense slowed the game down more than anything. The guys played a really good defensive game and I was proud of them."
Defenses for both teams were pivotal. Points off turnovers accounted for a third of the Knight’s scoring output, and Dayton’s defensive blockade for the last 12 minutes proved a major factor in the outcome.
A second major factor involved two crucial foul calls in the last 1:30 of regulation that helped send the game into overtime.
Up by one, WWVA coach Les Balk called for timeout as Knights guard Michael Hanson crossed halfcourt. Balk was not heard by the officials, so play continued for another seven seconds as he attempted to get the nearest official’s attention.
Hanson, meanwhile, drove for the hoop and collided with stationary Bulldog Kroft Sunderland. The Knights’ point guard was called for a charge — his fifth foul, and Dayton received the ball on the turnover.
Balk then spoke to the nearest official concerning his attempt to call for time, and how the previous play should not have occurred. The official said he hadn’t heard and that Balk would have to speak up next time.
After Dayton’s next offensive possession failed, Balk again called for timeout — this time loudly to the same official as he passed within a few feet. The official turned and assessed Balk a technical foul for "disrespectful" behavior.
Dayton’s Garett Turner sank one of the two technical foul shots to tie the game.
WWVA’s Marshall Failing rimmed out a 3-point attempt at the buzzer and the game proceeded to overtime.
Neither team scored in the first two-and-a-half minutes of overtime. The teams combined to miss three shots and give up three turnovers.
With 1:30 remaining in the extra session, Turner broke the scoring drought with a headlong right-handed drive and layin. Caleb Sauerbier responded for WWVA on the next possession by making 1-of-2 free throws. Fifty seconds later, Turner staked the Bulldogs to a three-point lead with a 10-foot bank shot from the left side.
On the next possession, Knights guard Andrew Scott spotted up for 3 on the left wing. The shot missed right, but Failing grabbed the rebound, and WWVA took its last timeout with 14 seconds remaining.
After the timeout, Sauerbier let loose a 3, missed, got his own long rebound and missed again. This time the rebound was corralled by Dayton’s Colton Bickelhaupt, who was fouled with two seconds remaining. Bickelhaupt hit both throws for the final tally.
"We played right into their hands," Balk said. "We played halfcourt basketball all night. They deserved to win,"
Turner led all scorers with 19 points. He accounted for all of Dayton’s scoring, except the final two points, from the 3:08 mark of the third quarter on.
"(Turner) is our go-to guy and everybody knows that," Ramirez said. "If he gets the opportunity to go to the hole, we don’t hold him back. We don’t hold any of our guys back."
The win was Dayton’s third overtime win this season, but only its fifth win all season.
The loss drops WWVA out of a second-place tie with Waitsburg-Prescott, with two divisional games to go. WWVA hosts Garfield-Palouse on Monday and travels to DeSales on Tuesday.
Dayton plays at Pomeroy on Saturday.
DAYTON (40) — Frame 0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Norris 1 2-2 4, Bickelhaupt 0 4-9 4, Schlachter 1 0-0 2, Henderson 1 0-0 2, Fullerton 1 0-0 2, Turner 5 9-14 19, Sunderland 2 3-5 7. Totals 11 18-30 40.
WALLA WALLA VALLEY ACADEMY (35) — Sauerbier 2 1-2 5, Moore 4 0-0 8, Scott 2 0-2 5, Mar. Failing 0 0-2 0, Luce 2 2-3 7, Beck 0 0-0 0, Witlake 0 0-0 0, Hanson 4 2-2 10, Max Failing 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 5-11 35.
Dayton 5 12 8 9 6 — 40
WWVA 15 6 11 2 1 — 35
3-point goals —Dayton 0, WWVA 2 (Scott, Luce). Fouled out—WWVA (Hanson). Technical fouls—WWVA (coach). Rebounds—Dayton 33 (Schlachter 9), WWVA 26 (Mar. Failing 6). Turnovers—Dayton 26, WWVA 19.