By DUSTIN HOLDEN
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
WALLA WALLA - Despite having four men in double digits, Walla Walla Community College couldn't top division-leading Big Bend in a 90-83 NWAACC East Region loss Saturday night in the Dietrich Dome.
Ryan Schultz led the Warriors with 19 points, while Dustin Moore and Jordan Steele added 12 each. Jason Smith had 10 points.
Steele and Moore had all their points on 3s, going a combined 8-of-12 from downtown.
The Warriors combined for 50.8 percent from the field, but trouble arose from the charity stripe. The Warriors were just 7-of-14 for 50 percent.
"We made things too hard with the poor free-throw shooting and we could have done better from 3-point range," said WWCC coach Jeff Reinland. "On the other hand, we just couldn't stop (Big Bend's) Hayes (Garrity) and (Blake) Skidmore. Skidmore finished 11-of-13 from the field and part of that was giving him too many open looks."
Skidmore had 31 points and Garrity finished with 27.
"We didn't defend well and we were down by 20 at one point," Reinland said.
said. "They hit a lot of 3s and we missed some that we would have normally made.
"We bothered them at the end and gave ourselves a chance to win but it just didn't happen. They are a good team and they outplayed us, that is why they are the league leaders."
Big Bend made 10-of-20 3s and shot a combined 52.3 percent from the field.
The Warriors fell behind 2-0 early, but then took the lead at 4-2 and led or were tied throughout most of the first half.
The game stayed close until just six minutes remained in the first stanza.
A 27-26 Warrior lead quickly turned into a 36-26 hole, when the Vikings buried a barrage of treys.
Garrity hit two 3s from the top of the key and Skidmore hit a long shot, moving the lead to 16 points late in the first half.
Mac Stannard completed a 3-point play and Moore sank a jumper from the left corner, drawing the Warriors to a 50-38 halftime mark.
The Vikings held a 10-point lead throughout early play in the second half, but shots began to fall and Big Bend grew it to 20 with 7:30 remaining.
The score was 79-59, but the Warriors were still chipping away at the deficit.
Smith scored on a fastbreak hoop, Moore canned a 3-pointer, Schultz converted a 3-point play and Colton Arias hit from downtown on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to nine with four minutes to play.
The Warriors' full court press helped, but wasn't enough.
The loss drops WWCC to 6-7 in league and 13-11 overall. They have a last shot at the NWAACC tournament with a Wednesday game at Blue Mountain (6-7, 7-16). The winner there will likely grab the final East Region seed into the tournament while the loser's season will end.
Blue Mountain, WWCC and Wenatchee are currently tied for fourth place. Wenatchee has to play at Big Bend in its season finale.
Big Bend 90, WWCC 83
Big Bend (90) - Brooke 3-8 0-2 6, Garrity 10-21 4-4 27, Pingel 5-8 2-3 14, Olayinka 4-12 0-0 8, Skidmore 11-13 4-5 31, Funston 0-0 0-0 0, Larsen 0-0 0-0 0, Buhler 1-3 2-4 4. Totals 24-65 12-18 90.
WWCC (83) - Crane 3-8 0-1 8, Arias 2-4 0-3 6, Payne 2-5 0-0 6, Bills 0-0 0-0 0, Schultz 7-12 5-5 19, Smith 5-11 0-0 10, Moore 4-5 0-0 12, Corsi 3-4 1-2 7, Steele 4-8 0-0 12, Stannard 1-4 1-3 3. Totals 31-61 7-14 83.
Halftime - Big Bend 50, WWCC 38. 3-point goals - Big Bend 10-20 (Garrity 3-9, Pingel 2-5, Skidmore 5-6), WWCC 14-34 (Crane 2-7, Arias 2-4, Payne 2-5, Smith 0-4, Moore 4-5, Steele 4-7, Stannard 0-2). Total fouls - Big Bend 16, WWCC 18. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Big Bend 36 (Olayinka 10), WWCC 32 (Schultz 9). Turnovers - Big Bend 13, WWCC 15. Assists - Big Bend 5 (Pingel 2), WWCC 15 (Schultz 7).