Blue Devil boys repeat history against Wenatchee

Wa-Hi turns a slim halftime lead into a 64-44 win over Wenatchee.

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Blue Devil Robert Ferenz (top, center) ducks and drives between two Wenatchee players during the first half of their game Saturday evening.

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Wa-Hi's Seth Alden (right, background) makes a behind-the-back pass to a teammate, keeping the ball safely out of the reach of Wenatchee's Cooper Helm (foreground).


WALLA WALLA - Saturday night's Big Nine Conference 4A boys basketball game between Wa-Hi and Wenatchee in the Blue Devil gym seemed to mirror the first meeting of the year between the two teams.

The Blue Devils held a small halftime lead in the Jan. 8 contest at Wenatchee before running away in the second half.

History repeated itself on Saturday night.

Wa-Hi led by four, 28-24, at intermission before dominating half two and cruising to a 64-44 triumph.

The Blue Devils - who improved to 5-5 in league, 8-10 overall, and guaranteed themselves no worse than a fourth-place finish in the Big Nine - shot 56 percent from the field (14-of-25, 5-of-7 from 3-point territory) after halftime and limited the Panthers to only nine field goals in the second half.

Wenatchee, which slipped to 2-7 and 6-11, shot 31 percent (19-of-62) for the game.

"We changed things up a little bit, got some stops, and got after it on the boards," Wa-Hi coach John Golden said. "We hit shots and expanded the lead."

Wa-Hi used a 5-0 spurt to build a 9-4 lead by the 3:49 mark of the opening quarter. Seth Alden assisted on a Rob Ferenz layin and ended the mini-run with a right-angle 3-pointer.

The Blue Devils led 13-10 after one.

The teams commenced the second quarter by exchanging 7-2 surges.

Wenatchee took a 17-15 edge with 5:31 remaining on a Dillon Sugg layup.

Moe Handcox put Wa-Hi up 22-19 with a straight-on 3 at the 3:17 mark.

The Blue Devils led 24-21 before Sugg drained a 3 with 2:13 to go to knot the score.

But Matt Watson and Handcox recorded baskets in the final minute to give the Blue Devils their four-point lead at the halftime break.

Wa-Hi opened the second half with a 9-0 blast. Ferenz was instrumental with two free throws and a left-baseline drive.

Alex Ceron added a follow off a Blue Devil miss and Alden contributed a 3 from the right wing with 5:24 on the clock that opened up a 13-point Wa-Hi advantage, 37-24.

The Blue Devils surrendered the next four points before Alden and Handcox drilled back-to-back 3's to make it 43-28.

After an Alden freebie, Wenatchee closed within 10, 46-36.

But a Kevin Toon 3 from the left corner with three seconds to go gave Wa-Hi a 49-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

"Those were good momentum builders for us," Golden said of the shots hit by Alden and Toon.

The Blue Devils twice increased their lead to 22 points in the final frame before settling for the 20-point margin.

Ferenz led four Wa-Hi players in double figures with 18 points. Watson, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, Handcox, and Alden were next with 10 points apiece.

The Blue Devils outrebounded Wenatchee 52-31.

"Rob had a great game at both ends of the floor," Golden said. "We've tried to get him to do that all season and he responded.

"Our post guys (Ferenz, Watson and Marshall Dunovant) played well offensively," Golden said of the 14-of-28 field-goal shooting by his bigs. "That takes pressure off our guards.

"It was a heck of an effort for our kids to come back," said Golden, whose team lost at Davis on Friday night. "It was nice to see us shoot better."

Wa-Hi hosts Eisenhower on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Wa-Hi 64, Wenatchee 44

WENATCHEE (44) - Burnham 0-6 0-2 0, Fuller 1-8 0-0 2, Helm 3-7 0-0 7, Jaeger 3-16 2-2 8, Sugg 8-17 2-5 19, Black 1-2 0-0 2, Allison 2-3 0-0 4, McKay 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 19-62 4-9 44.

WA-HI (64) - Toon 3-6 0-0 8, Ceron 1-2 0-0 2, Swenson 0-1 0-0 0, Handcox 3-8 2-2 10, Torres 0-0 0-0 0, Peasley 0-0 0-0 0, Eggers 2-3 0-2 4, Alden 3-9 1-2 10, Dunovant 1-4 0-0 2, Ferenz 8-15 2-3 18, Watson 5-9 0-0 10. Totals 26-57 5-9 64.

Wenatchee 10 14 12 8 - 44

Wa-Hi 13 15 21 15 - 64

3-point goals - Wenatchee 2-16 (Helm 1-2, Sugg 1-4, Jaeger 0-4, Fuller 0-6), Wa-Hi 7-15 (Alden 3-7, Toon 2-2, Handcox 2-3, Ceron 0-1, Swenson 0-1, Ferenz 0-1). Total fouls-Wenatchee 10, Wa-Hi 10. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds- Wenatchee 31 (Sugg 8), Wa-Hi 52 (Watson 16). Turnovers-Wenatchee 6, Wa-Hi 16. Assists- Wenatchee 4 (Jaeger 2), Wa-Hi 14 (Ceron 2, Handcox 2, Eggers 2, Alden 2, Ferenz 2).

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