BOYS BASKETBALL - Davis holds off Blue Devils' rally

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WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi entered the fourth quarter of its Big Nine Conference 4A boys basketball game with undefeated Davis on Friday night trailing by 10 points, 47-37.

The Blue Devils drew to within three, 54-51, when forward Matt Watson converted a 3-point play with 1:11 remaining to cap a double-double night - 17 points and 10 rebounds.

But Davis' Davonte Luckett, saddled most of the game with foul trouble, put the game out of reach with back-to-back transition dunks in the final 28 seconds and the Pirates escaped the Wa-Hi gym with a 59-54 victory.

"The kids battled back, but couldn't get over the hump at the end," Wa-Hi coach John Golden said.

"We had been going at each other in practice," said Davis coach Eli Juarez, whose team had been idle since Dec. 21. "We always anticipate a tough contest at Walla Walla."

Davis improved to 2-0 in league and 7-0 overall.

The Blue Devils were 2-1 and 5-6 prior to a Saturday night contest at Wenatchee.

The teams were tied at 2, 6 and 9 within the first seven-plus minutes of the first quarter before Wa-Hi ended the period with five unanswered points. Seth Alden broke the latter stalemate with a pair of free throws with 37.5 seconds to go and Josh Eggers tossed in a dance-around-the-rim 3-pointer from half-court as time expired to give the Blue Devils a 14-9 lead.

Marshall Dunovant opened the second quarter with a layin that increased Wa-Hi's margin to seven, 16-9, at the 7:47 mark.

The Pirates rallied to knot the tally at 20 and 22 before taking a 24-22 edge on an Amaris Carter layup with 22 seconds left in the half.

Wa-Hi drew even before halftime on a Watson bank just inside the free throw line with six seconds on the clock.

Davis used 6-0 and 7-0 scoring runs in period three to build the 10-point spread it would take into the final quarter. Jackson Marquis ended the first spurt with a trey at the 5:53 mark that put the Pirates in front, 34-28, and Carter closed out the second surge - and the quarter - by taking a David Trimble pass up strong in the low post with three seconds remaining.

"In the third quarter, we gave up too many points," Golden said, "We did a pretty good job defending overall."

The Blue Devils closed the gap to two, 48-46, on a Dunovant follow with 3:15 left in the fourth.

Watson's three-point play ended a 6-2 Davis run and kept Wa-Hi in contention.

Wa-Hi had a chance to tie in the final minute, but Moe Handcox narrowly misfired on a 3-point try from the left corner, and Luckett registered the first of his two slams just seconds later.

"In the second half, we got into foul trouble," Golden said. "Offensively, we were a little stagnate. They went to a 1-3-1 zone. We didn't react well to it (initially), but we eventually did. The kids know how to battle and work hard."

As for his team's ability to hold off the pesky Blue Devils, Juarez said, "That speaks to the heart of our team and the chemistry we have."

Davis 59, Wa-Hi 54

DAVIS (59) - Kupp 2-2 1-1 5, Luckett 5-11 0-0 10, Navarro 1-3 0-0 2, Marquis 3-7 1-2 8, McClurkin 1-5 0-0 2, Trimble 6-11 2-3 14, Carter 6-6 2-5 14, Allen 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 26-49 6-11 59.

WA-HI (54) - Toon 1-5 0-0 3, Ceron 0-2 2-2 2, Swenson 0-1 0-0 0, Handcox 4-10 2-2 11, Peasley 0-0 0-0 0, Eggers 1-1 0-0 3, Alden 5-12 2-2 14, Dunovant 2-3 0-0 4, Ferenz 0-1 0-0 0, Watson 7-13 3-3 17. Totals 20-48 9-9 54.

Davis 9 15 23 12 - 59

Wa-Hi 14 10 13 17 - 54

3-point goals - Davis 1-8 (Marquis 1-2, Trimble 0-1, Navarro 0-2, McClurkin 0-3), Wa-Hi 5-17 (Alden 2-7, Eggers 1-1, Toon 1-3, Handcox 1-5, Swenson 0-1). Total fouls - Davis 15, Wa-Hi 15. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds - Davis 29 (Kupp 5, Trimble 5, Carter 5), Wa-Hi 27 (Watson 10). Turnovers - Davis 12, Wa-Hi 15. Assists - Davis 9 (Kupp 3, Luckett 3), Wa-Hi 12 (Handcox 3).

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