WALLA WALLA - A 15-to-3 assist advantage for Wa-Hi over Moses Lake, plus a decided rebounding advantage to go with a much better shooting percentage from the field, and that spelled a big win for the Blue Devils, 61-46, over the Chiefs in Big Nine action here Saturday night.
"We've been moving the ball around well lately," Wa-Hi coach John Golden said, "especially against that zone tonight. We've been swinging the ball and reversing it, really sharing and passing the ball good.
"We shot well, too, and that always helps."
Fifteen assists for Wa-Hi, compared to just 10 turnovers, and a clean 50 percent shooting from the field, were all aided by the rebounding advantage for the Blue Devils by a count of 37-32.
"We got back to really rebounding again tonight," Golden said. "That has been a strong point for us this year, so I was pleased to see that back."
The leader in boards for the Blue Devils was Matt Watson with eight. Watson also poured in 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
"Watson has a really great touch from outside," Golden said. "That is one area that he has really improved upon from last year. We don't feel bad at all seeing him shooting from out there as well as from inside."
Alex Ceron backed Watson with 16 points, on 2-of-4 from downtown, and five boards.
"Alex can shoot it," Golden said. "He did a nice job of taking what the defense gave him."
Starters Moe Handcox and Seth Alden added nine and eight points, respectively.
Team defense helped Wa-Hi hold Moses Lake to just nine points in the first quarter.
"We played good defense in the first and second quarters, especially," Golden said. "Our post defense wasn't great, though. We have to shore that up a bit."
The Blue Devils scored 17 points in the first quarter to build an eight-point lead early.
Wa-Hi had 16-point advantage at halftime after outscoring the Chiefs 20-12 in the second quarter.
Moses Lake shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first half.
The Chiefs also only hit on 4-of-10 free throws in the first half.
The big scorer for Moses Lake was Matt Franz, who led his team back in the third quarter and finished with 20 points off the bench.
The Chiefs stormed back in the third to cut the halftime lead in half, to eight points, with two minutes remaining in the period.
That was before Handcox hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to push the lead back to 11 points to end the quarter.
"That was a big shot by Moe at the end of third," Golden said. "It pushed the lead back into double-digits after their run."
The final period saw Wa-Hi top Moses Lake in scoring, 17-13, while getting some minutes to the bench players late in the quarter.
The Chiefs shot much better from the field overall in the second half, 39.3 percent, to up their total to 33.9 percent for the game.
Moses Lake was only 1-of-13 from the 3-point line, and Wa-Hi was 5-of-12 from downtown, 41.7 percent in the game.
From the charity stripe, Moses Lake had the slight advantage as the Chiefs shot 53.8 percent compared to 52.6 percent for Wa-Hi.
The Blue Devils did outshoot and make more free throws than the Chiefs.
There was only one tie in the game and that was early at 2-2. Besides that, Wa-Hi led the rest of the way.
"It was a good win," Golden said. "It gave us the season sweep over Moses Lake. We beat them in overtime and at their place by 11 points.
"Right now, we sit at fourth place in the conference, with Moses Lake in fifth," he said. "That made it an important win because the top four teams in the conference get to host a playoff game."
Wa-Hi's record is now 4-4 in league and the Chiefs dropped to 2-6.
The Blue Devils travel to Davis Friday and play at home Saturday versus Wenatchee with a 6 p.m. start time.
Wa-Hi 61, Moses Lake 46
MOSES LAKE (46) - Samuels 0-1 0-0 0, Porter 3-11 0-0 6, Moats 0-5 2-3 2, Adame 2-4 2-2 6, Phillips 0-2 0-0 0, Franz 9-21 1-2 20, McDonald 3-5 0-2 6, Miller 2-5 1-2 5, Perez 0-2 1-2 1. Totals - 19-56 7-13 46.
WA-HI (61) - Toon 1-2 0-0 2, Ceron 6-12 2-2 16, Swenson 0-1 0-0 0, Handcox 3-4 2-3 9, Torres 0-0 0-0 0, Eggers 1-3 1-2 4, Campeau 0-0 0-0 0, Alden 2-8 4-4 8, Dunovant 3-6 0-3 6, Ferenz 1-2 0-2 2, Watson 6-8 2-4 14. Totals - 23-46 10-19 61.
Moses Lake 9 12 12 13 - 46
Wa-Hi 17 20 7 17 - 61
3-point goals - Wa-Hi 5-12 (Ceron 2-4, Toon 0-1, Swenson 0-1, Handcox 2-3, Eggers 1-1 , Alden 0-2), Moses Lake 1-13 (Franz). Total fouls - Moses Lake 18, Wa-Hi 14. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Wa-Hi 37 (Watson 8), Moses Lake 32 (McDonald 6). Turnovers - Wa-Hi 10, Moses Lake 9. Assists - Wa-Hi 15 (Toon 3, Handcox 3), Moses Lake 3 (Porter 2).