By AMELIA VENEZIANO
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
WALLA WALLA - Blue Mountain grabbed an early lead against WWCC in NWAACC men's basketball Wednesday game night, but a non-call that resulted in a bloodied Warrior sparked the men as they rebounded for a 77-56 win.
Blue Mountain streaked to a quick 22-14 lead at the Dietrich Dome, silencing the home crowd.
But a collision under the Blue Mountain hoop that left starter Aaron Corsi bleeding from his left eyebrow and coach Jeff Reinland seething with a technical foul from a call that never came gave the Warriors some life and brought the plaid-clad crowd (in honor of "Plaid Night") to its feet.
"They got fired up," Reinland said of the team. "I don't know if it was the technical or that Aaron got clocked in the eye, but they got fired up. Whatever it was, I'm glad it happened."
Corsi's cut was tapped but he kept bleeding. He left the court and returned with a black headband pulled low since the injury likely needed stitches, an assistant WWCC coach said.
But the cut didn't hamper his play. Corsi contributed 19 points on the night.
After the technical, the Warriors scrambled to close the half down 33-25.
Jay Payne opened the second for WWCC with a trey and field goal for move to 33-30, and two minutes later WWCC grabbed its first lead of the night when Jason Smith sank a long 3 for a 36-35 advantage.
The Warriors and Timberwolves had five lead changes in the next four minutes.
And with 11:17 to go, WWCC grabbed its biggest lead thus far at 52-43 with a Corsi hoop.
BMCC never came closer as WWCC's defense shut the Timberwolves down.
"We played a good first half, but we ran into trouble in the second," said BMCC head coach Larry Bartee. "WWCC came out with defensive pressure and hit a bunch of 3s in a row and turned the game around."
Blue Mountain scored 13 points in the last 11 minutes, while WWCC streaked ahead with 25.
Tavin Hurley was benched with five personal's midway through the second half for the Timberwolves. Hurley had three personals in the first four minutes of the game, contributing six points and leading the Wolves with two offensive boards.
Payne had 19 points and led the Warriors with four treys on the night. WWCC was 9-33 from 3-point land, while Blue Mountain scored none.
WWCC grabbed the big win after three losses in a row, including a double-overtime fall at Columbia Basin Saturday.
"This is great for our kid's confidence," Reinland said. "They were feeling down and this is obviously a big help."
Blue Mountain (2-10) hosts Columbia Basin Saturday.
WWCC (8-5) plays at Treasure Valley Saturday.
WWCC 77, Blue Mountain 56
BLUE MOUNTAIN (56) - Burt 0-2 0-0 0, Kuhn 0-0 0-0 0, Hermann 2-6 0-0 4, Grogan 2-9 0-4 4, Davis 6-8 0-0 12, Strand 4-10 0-0 8, Church 5-12 2-3 12, Metcalf 1-3 0-0 2, Chambers 4-7 0-2 8, Baty 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Hurley 3-4 0-0 6, Totals 27-62 2-9 56.
WWCC (77) - Crane 3-7 3-4 11, Arias 0-4 0-0 0, Payne 6-13 3-3 19, Bills 0-1 1-4 1, Schultz 3-5 2-2 8, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Corsi 7-10 5-10 19, Steele 0-4 0-0 0, Stannard 2-3 4-4 8, Totals 25-60 18-27 77.
Halftime score - BMCC 33, WWCC 25. 3-point goals - BMCC none, WWCC 9 (Payne 4-10, Crane 2-5, Smith 3-10, Arias 0-3, Steele 0-4, Stannard 0-1). Total fouls - BMCC 20, WWCC 11. Fouled out - Hurley. Technical fouls- WWCC bench. Rebounds- BMCC 36 (Strand 6), WWCC 42 (Corsi 11). Turnovers- BMCC 18, WWCC 12. Assists- BMCC 3 (Davis, Strand, Chambers), WWCC 10 (Stannard 3).