KENNEWICK - Wa-Hi's Gary Winston capped a 12-point fourth quarter with a two-handed slam dunk after a half-court steal.
Winston finished with a game-high 23 points, and his prolific fourth period slammed the door on Eisenhower.
It clinched a 61-54 Blue Devil boys basketball victory over the Cadets in a loser-out game at the Class 4A Eastern Regional Championships at the Toyota Center here Friday.
"I haven't been playing good basketball personally," Winston said. "The rest of the team has been playing good, but I haven't.
"And we had some foul trouble, so we didn't have all of our starters in. I needed to take on a bigger role in the second half. So that's what I tried to do."
Two of Wa-Hi's top-three scorers endured foul troubles - Michael Weisner and Colton Arias - and Weisner went to the bench after drawing his fourth infraction with 2:38 on the third-quarter clock.
The Blue Devils held a 39-37 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Matt Watson gave Wa-Hi a 41-37 lead after a Seth Alden assist with 7:50 on the game clock.
Then Ike scored five unanswered points and led 42-41 with 6:50 to play.
That's when Winston stepped up to play a "bigger role."
He made a steal and raced coast-to-coast for a lay-in and drew a foul, which he converted into a three-point play and a 44-42 Wa-Hi lead with 5:38 on the game clock.
On Wa-Hi's next possession, Winston popped a 16-foot jumper, then he made a pair of free throws after being fouled on a drive to the hoop. That gave Wa-Hi a five-point lead, 48-35, with 4:35 showing on the clock.
Then Weisner returned to can a pair of free throws and Winston hit a floater for a six-point, 52-46, Wa-Hi lead.
After Robert Bonser's two from the line pulled Ike o within four, 52-48, Arias drilled a 3-pointer for a seven-point lead, 55-48, with 2:56 to go.
When Weisner hit another pair from the line with 1:10 to play, Wa-Hi led by nine points, 59-50.
Ike, however, scored four unanswered points, reducing the gap to five, 59-54, with 35 seconds to play.
And that set the stage for Winston's steal and dunk to end the game's scoring at 61-54 for the Blue Devils.
Weisner finished the game with 18 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Winston finished with five rebounds and three assists to go with his 23 points.
Ike led 11-7 after the first quarter. Wa-Hi led 22-17 at halftime and 39-37 after three quarters.
Ryan Watson led Ike with 20 points.
The game had 12 lead changes and six ties. Wa-Hi's biggest lead was nine points, twice.
"Our backs are against the wall," Wa-Hi coach John Golden said. "They're loser-out games. Our kids responded. They weren't going to be denied in this game. I thought Matt Watson came off the bench and defended well. I thought Seth Alden played a great floor-game for us.
"They spread us out so much, and we looked for cutters and back-door guys," he added. "And what can you say about Gary. He just wasn't going to be denied in that fourth quarter.
"It was a great effort, and now we've got to find something for (Saturday)," Golden said. "We're playing one-to-go, so that's what we want to do."
Wa-Hi played Kamiakin, a 49-48 loser to Mead on Friday, on Saturday in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.
It was their fourth meeting of the season with the teams splitting their regular-season games, with each team winning at home.
Kamiakin, however, beat the Blue Devils in a district playoff game at the Blue Devils' gym.
"We're happy to get this one," Winston said of the Friday win. "But at the same time we need another win in order to go to state. So, it's not over yet. We've still got to play Kamiakin (Saturday). They got us last time pretty bad, and we're still pretty mad about that one from a bunch of juniors.
"We respect them, but we don't think they're better than us," he added.
WA-HI (61) - Winston 9-16 4-5 23, Aguiar 0-1 0-0 0, Porter 0-2 1-3 1, Arias 2-6 1-2 6 , Weisner 4-7 8-10 18, James 2-4 1-2 5, Alden 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 3-3 2-2 8. Totals 20-39 17-24 61.
EISENHOWER (54) - Scott 1-1 0-0 2, Morioka 1-4 0-0 3, Lopez 1-11 3-4 5, Mount 2-6 4-4 10, Clayton 0-0 1-2 m1, Watson 7-11 1-1 17, Urlacher 0-0 0-0 0, Bonzer 6-15 4-6 16. Totals 18-48 13-17 54.
Wa-Hi 7 15 17 22 - 61
Eisenhower 11 6 20 17 - 54
3-point goals - Wa-Hi 4-8 (Winston 1-3, Arias 1-2 Weisner 2-3), Ike 5-15 (Morioka 1-3, Lopez 0-3, Mount 2-5, Watson 2-2, Bonser 0-2). Total fouls - Wa-Hi 15, Ike 18. Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - (None). Rebounds - Wa-Hi 30 (Weisner 8), Ike 25 (Bonser 6). Turnovers - Wa-Hi 13 , Ike 12. Assists - Wa-Hi 10 (Winston 3, Alden 3), Ike 7 (Lopez 6). Steals - Wa-Hi 5 (Watson 2), Ike 3 (n/a).