WALLA WALLA - You've got to make your free throws.
That basketball philosophy proved true as Weston-McEwen's boys shot 34 percent (5-of-17) from the line and Stanfield shot 80 percent (24-of-30) as the Tigers took a four-point win in overtime, 59-55, at the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic tournament on George Ball Court at Whitman College's Sherwood Center.
The turnover-to-assist ratio was 10 assists and nine turnovers for the TigerScots going into the fourth quarter, when they trailed by four points.
Primarily an inexperienced bench had brought W-M back from 10 down in the third quarter to tie in the fourth, take the lead, lose it and then tie again to force overtime.
The TigerScots' bench charge was led by Nick Pease, who had 11 points and 12 boards.
The second unit included Jacob Ramirez, who had a game-high five steals. Calvin Thacker added five points, while hitting a shot from downtown to go with a 2-point bucket. Lance Thacker had four points on a 3-pointer with a free throw.
"I'm proud of the bench and a lot of the turnovers were due to inexperience," W-M coach Brian Pickard said. "Stanfield puts some good pressure on you with their press. We got into a couple of situations where we got into some traps and panicked a bit. Overall, that second group was outstanding in the second half and I'm pretty proud of them."
W-M starters Riley Sederburg added a team-high 13 points and Ron Terjeson had 11 points to go with five blocks and 15 rebounds. Elliot Salter had six assists.
"In the past, our bench has been used sparingly. They get two or three minutes to give guys breaks here and there," Pickard said. "Going forward, I'm going to play the guys who act like they want to be here with a little heart and little pride. You saw that in the kids who finished this game."
Stanfield's Devin Bailey lit up the scoreboard with 26 points, including 11-of-14 free-throw shooting and a trio of 3-pointers. Eddy Ramos added 12 and Koty Kamm finished with 16 points.
Pickard didn't like the loss, but he hoped that his team learned from the experience.
"Experience that the bench got from that game will be huge down the stretch," Pickard said. "Knowing that you can trust them to play well in close situations, when we need them, is important. We could need them if we get into foul trouble or for whatever reason that we have to use them and we know they'll be ready.
"Hopefully, this game will give our bench some confidence and know that they can play," he said. "It should also tell our starters if they're not going to work hard, then they'll have somebody behind them ready to come in and play."
Consecutive losses has W-M at 6-3 overall and still 2-0 in Blue Mountain Conference play.
Stanfield 59, Weston-McEwen 55
STANFIELD (59) - Linker 0 2-2 2, Bailey 5 11-14 26, Ramos 5 3-4 13, Kamm 6 4-6 16, Haefer 0 1-4 1, Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Esquivel 0 0-0 0, Valadez 0 0-0 0. Totals - 16 24-30 59.
W-M (55) - Salter 1 0-2 2, Sederburg 6 1-2 13, Terjeson 4 2-4 10, Chapman 3 0-0 6, Reich 2 0-0 4, Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Pease 5 1-5 11, L. Thacker 1 1-4 4, C. Thacker 2 0-0 5. Totals - 24 5-17 55.
Stanfield 14 17 11 8 9 - 87
W-M 16 10 12 12 5 - 85
3-point goals - Stanfield 3 (Bailey 3), W-M 2 (C. Thacker, L. Thacker). Total fouls - W-M 20, Stanfield 11. Fouled out - W-M (Terjeson). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - W-M 35 (Terjeson 12), Stanfield 18 (Esquivel 4, Bailey 4, Linker 4). Turnovers - Stanfield 18, W-M 18. Assists - W-M 12 (Salter 6), Stanfield 6 (Ibarra 6).