COLLEGE BASKETBALL — Warriors pull away from Wildcats for season-opening win

Ryan Schulz and Michael Crane spark a run that opens up a 16-point WWCC second-half lead against Linfield's JV in the 94-76 win.

Advertisement

photo

Walla Walla Community College's Jason Smith (13) gets up to defend Linfield College's Riley Loesch (5) during the first-half of their Friday game.

WALLA WALLA - With his team leading the stubborn Linfield junior varsity 54-53 at the 14:22 mark of the second half of the 2010-11 season opener on Friday night, Walla Walla Community College men's basketball coach Jeff Reinland was looking for someone on his roster to establish scoreboard separation.

Guard Ryan Schulz and newcomer Michael Crane shouldered the responsibility of helping the Warriors run away and hide from the visiting Wildcats.

Schulz and Crane combined for 12 points during a 17-2 WWCC run that opened up a 16-point spread, 71-55, with 10:02 remaining, and sent Walla Walla on its way to a 94-76 victory in the Dietrich Dome.

"They were scrappy and hard to play against," Reinland said. "I talked to (Linfield varsity coach) Larry Doty and he said, "They'll give you a game.

"How many tough shots did those guys hit?" Reinland asked. "We played pretty good defense, but they'd finish on us."

The lead changed hands seven times in the opening half and eight ties were forged between the two teams including stalemates at 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18.

Veteran guard Jason Smith, who led a quartet of Warriors in double figures with 26 points, drained back-to-back 3-point shots that gave WWCC a 27-21 lead with nine minutes left in the first half.

Dustin Moore increased the Walla Walla margin to eight, 35-27, with a 3 at the 5:20 mark.

Linfield responded with eight straight points.

Zepher Loesch's basket with 3:36 to go knotted the score at 35-35.

Smith broke a 41-all deadlock with a trey just 29.1 seconds before halftime that gave the Warriors a slight edge going into intermission.

"We were a little disorganized in the first half," Reinland said. "We had easy shots and missed. Then we'd hit a few, and go cold again."

Linfield's Jake Hillyer drilled a 3 prior to the efforts of Schulz and Crane that busted the game open.

"In the second half we moved Michael to the 5," Reinland said. "Schulz gave us an energy boost."

Walla Walla took its biggest lead, 89-65, when Smith knocked down a 3 from the left corner with 2:54 on the clock. He ended up 7-of-14 from downtown.

Moore and Aaron Corsi added 14 points apiece for the Warriors and Jay Payne scored 13.

"Once we settled down, we showed what we are capable of doing," Reinland said.

Walla Walla is off until Dec. 3-4 when it hosts the annual Warrior Classic.

LINFIELD (76) - Loesch 4-8 5-6 15, Gibson 104 0-0 2, Rodrigues 8-16 1-2 17, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Ferguson 0-4 2-2 2, Hillyer 4-7 1-2 12, McMahon 6-14 0-0 12, Seaholm 0-0 0-0 0, Celniker 4-7 0-0 8, Bosch 1-2 2-2 4, Norby 1-6 0-0 2, Graville 0-2 0-0 0, Zosel-Offutt 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-71 11-14 76.

WWCC (94) - Crane 3-5 1-1 7, Arias 0-0 0-0 0, Payne 3-10 5-6 13, Bills 2-6 2-2 6, Schulz 4-4 0-1 9, Smith 9-19 1-2 26, Moore 5-7 0-0 14, Corsi 5-10 4-9 14, Steele 2-9 1-1 5, Stannard 0-30-0 0. Totals 33-73 14-22 94.

Halftime score - WWCC 44, Linfield 41. 3-point goals - Linfield 5-14 (Hillyer 3-5, Loesch 2-4, McMahon 0-1, Celniker 0-1, Graville 0-1, Rodrigues 0-2), WWCC 14-35 (Smith 7-14, Moore 4-6, Payne 2-9, Schulz 1-1, Crane 0-1, Steele 0-2, Stannard 0-2). Total fouls- Linfield 17, WWCC 19. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds- Linfield 40 (McMahon 10), WWCC 53 (Corsi 10). Turnovers-Linfield 11, WWCC 14. Assists-Linfield 3 (Loesch, Rodrigues, McMahon), WWCC 12 (Corsi 5).

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in