Smith tallies 38 as WWCC men stun Big Bend

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WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College freshman guard Jason Smith had a performance Saturday night that Warrior coaches, teammates and fans will likely remember for a long time.

The 6-foot-3 native of Troy, Idaho set the Dietrich Dome nets on fire with 38 points as the Warriors rolled to a stunning 101-78 victory over NWAACC Eastern Region-leading Big Bend.

Smith was 13-of-18 from the field and sank an uncanny 10-of-15 shots from 3-point distance.

"What a game," WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said. "He’s capable of having (that kind of) game against a team like that because they collapse (into the middle of the lane to guard the post area)."

WWCC raised its league record to 4-3 and finds itself in a three-way tie for third place with Treasure Valley and Yakima Valley after one round of league play. Walla Walla is 12-5 overall.

"This was a huge win," Reinland said.

The Vikings, who were ranked fourth in the latest NWAACC poll, are now tied with Spokane at the top of the league standings with a 6-1 mark. BBCC is 11-4 overall.

The Warriors led from the opening seconds to the final buzzer. They grabbed a 7-0 lead on a low-block bucket by Emery Henning at the 17:40 mark of the first half.

From there, WWCC’s margin grew to eight (16-8 and 19-11), nine (21-12), 10 (24-14), 11 (27-16 and 29-18), and 14 (32-18) over the next eight minutes.

Smith put the Warriors in front by 16 points on two occasions in the last five minutes of the frame. A 3 at the 4:17 mark gave the Warriors a 43-27 lead and a trey with 2:50 on the clock brought the score to 50-34.

Reserve Dustin Moore provided WWCC with its biggest lead of the half, 52-34, with 2:32 left on a pair of free throws.

Walla Walla led 56-43 at halftime.

Big Bend did not mount a serious threat in the second half.

A drive and basket by Alex Roll with 2:30 remaining in the game established the Warriors’ biggest lead of the game, 97-72.

Henning ended up with 20 points and 11 rebounds on the night.

"We played good defense," Reinland said. "The kids did a good job keeping them in front and guarding their 3-point shooters."

The Vikings made only 4-of-19 shots from beyond the arc.

Reinland also praised the performance of guard Ryan Andrews, who snagged six rebounds and delivered nine assists in 36 minutes of court time.

"Ryan did a good job handling their pressure," Reinland said. "It was not always pretty, but he played tough."

The Warriors open the second round of league competition Wednesday at Columbia Basin.

BIG BEND (78) — Nunn 3-4 0-0 6, Winn 2-10 2-2 8, Marsh 6-11 3-6 16, Hatch 0-5 0-0 0, Brumfield 3-6 3-5 9, Hattar 4-9 2-2 11, Brooke 1-1 5-6 7, Snow 5-10 2-2 12, Ranstrom 2-6 5-8 9, Buhler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-63 22-32 78.

WWCC (101) — Wright 2-6 2-4 6, Roll 4-6 2-2 10, Andrews 1-3 0-0 2, Steele 1-4 0-0 2, Gibson 3-3 1-1 7, Van de Graaf 1-7 0-0 3, Fullerton 0-0 0-0 0, Schulz 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 13-18 2-2 38, Moore 1-1 4-6 6, Corsi 2-2 3-4 7, Henning 6-7 8-11 20. Totals 34-58 22-30 101

Halftime score — WWCC 56, Big Bend 43. 3-point goals — Big Bend 4-19 (Winn 2-8, Marsh 1-1, Hattar 1-4, Buhler 0-1, Brumfield 0-2, Hatch 0-3), WWCC 11-28 (Smith 10-15, Van de Graaf 1-6, Roll 0-1, Schulz 0-1, Steele 0-2, Wright 0-3). Total fouls — Big Bend 24, WWCC 23. Fouled out — Big Bend (Winn), WWCC (Wright). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds—Big Bend 40 (Brumfield 7), WWCC 39 (Henning 11). Turnovers—Big Bend 11, WWCC 17. Assists—Big Bend 5 (Hattar 2), WWCC 18 (Andrews 9).

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