By DUSTIN HOLDEN
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
WALLA WALLA - Dayton junior guard Garett Turner turned up the heat on Liberty Christian by scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 boards to lead the team. Two other Bulldogs scored in double figures, with Kroft Sunderland scoring 12 points and grabbing six boards and Hayden Fullerton with 15 points to go with three steals.
The final score to determine the third and fourth seeds at districts was Dayton 65, Liberty Christian 40, in a district seeding game played at DeSales.
"It was an all-around good team effort," Dayton coach Roy Ramirez said. "The whole team played well and shared the ball. We also had good team defense. They all gave a tremendous effort and I couldn't be any prouder."
Dayton now travels to Asotin for a 6 p.m. game on Wednesday.
Liberty Christian hosts Walla Walla Valley Academy, a 68-41 victor over Tri-Cities Prep Monday, at 6 p.m. today. The winner of that game takes on Southeast 2B champion Waitsburg-Prescott at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The action was fast and furious throughout Monday as Sunderland stole the show early in the game.
In the paint, Sunderland scored eight of his 12 points in the first stanza.
A key defensive role was played by Dain Henderson, who nabbed three of his game-high four steals in the first half for the Bulldogs.
Keeping the Patriots within shouting distance early in the game was guard Jake Siefken, who finished with 19 points, three steals and three rebounds.
The second half belonged to Dayton's Turner, who scored 14 of his 24 points after the intermission.
"All of the guys really did well," Ramirez said. "They played team basketball and I give them all the credit in the world. They did exactly what I asked of them."
Dayton just missed having a fourth guy in double figures, as Wyatt Frame scored eight points to contribute to the win.
Ramirez had good things to say about his opponent, whom his team split with during the regular season.
"They are a very well-coached basketball team," he said. "They have some outstanding players and we had to be really focused and really get after them to get this victory."
The Bulldogs are now 8-5 in league and 12-9 overall.
"We have been waiting for our guys to break out all year and have a game like this," Ramirez said. "We have been involved in mostly close games all year - wins by a few points or losses by several points in most games. So this was nice to see and we're playing well at the right time."
Dayton 65, Liberty Christian 40
LC (40) - Siefken 7 2-4 19, Corrigan 2 1-4 5, Sitton 4 0-0 8, Crawford 0 3-4 3, Lindquist 2 0-0 4, Ti. Koglin 0 1-2 1, Ty. Koglin 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-14 40.
DAYTON (65) - Sunderland 6 1-5 13, Fullerton 6 0-1 15, Henderson 1 0-0 2, Turner 8 7-9 24, Frame 3 2-3 8, Schlacter 1 0-0 2, Lambert 0 1-2 1. Totals 25 11-20 65.
LC 11 7 15 7 - 40
Dayton 20 17 13 15 - 65
3-point goals - LC 3 (Siefken 3), Day 3 (Fullerton 2, Turner). Total fouls - Day 15, LC 13. Fouled out - LC (Corrigan), Day (Henderson). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Day 40 (Turner 11), LC 22 (Corrigan 8). Turnovers - LC 8, Day 8.