SPOKANE - Waitsburg-Prescott dug themselves a 12-1 hole to open play in Thursday's quarterfinal state 2B boys basketball action at the Spokane Arena against 21-4 Bear Creek.
W-P fought all the way back to grab a 41-37 lead with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Bear Creek's 6-foot, 6-inch post, Ryan Strandin, took over as the Grizzlies caught W-P at 47-47 at the end of regulation. Strandin scored seven of the Grizzlies' 11 points, grabbed six of his game-high 20 rebounds, and blocked a shot in the Grizzlies' 11-0 overtime run as Bear Creek played into today's state semifinals with a 58-47 win.
W-P tipped off at 10:30 this morning against Lake Roosevelt, a 59-42 loser to Napavine on Thursday, in an elimination battle.
"Bear Creek punched us in the mouth right off the bat," W-P coach T.J. Scott said. "They had us on our heels. We called time out and settled down and ran our motion stuff and started battling back."
Down 12-1 with 3:48 left in the first period, Tyler Baxter came off the W-P bench to score seven points, grab three rebounds, and keep W-P close as the Grizzlies took an 18-10 lead after one.
On an afternoon where W-P had trouble penetrating a Bear Creek zone that was anchored by the 6-6 Strandin, 6-5 Erik Domas and 6-2 Lucas Peterson, W-P's Dustin Wooderchak opened the second period with a 3-ball to cut the Bear Creek lead to 18-13.
The Grizzlies answered with an 8-4 run to expand the lead, following a pair of free throws by W-P's Kris Cady with 3:54 left in the half, to 26-17.
Justin Zuger came off the W-P bench with a bucket to spark a mini 4-1 W-P run and get W-P within 27-21 at the break.
W-P did not shoot well over the Bear Creek zone, hitting only 2-of-11 from behind the arc in the first half and only connecting on 7-25 from the field in the first 16 minutes.
"We were a little amped up," Scott said of the W-P first half. "It's a big stage out here. It's new for everybody."
W-P found the 3-ball to open the second half. Zach Bartlow drained one, and a minute later Wooderchak followed suit. A deuce from Cady and W-P was even at 29-29 with 5:14 to play in the third quarter.
A bucket from Strandin and two Domas' free throws opened a 33-30 Bear Creek lead with 3:45 left in the third. Bartlow answered with a trey for a 33-33 tie.
Guillermo Hernandez came off the W-P bench to break up a 2-on-1 Grizzly fastbreak, and converted a Bartlow feed for a 35-all tie with 3:30 to go. Hernandez closed out the quarter with 1-of-2 free throws as Bear Creek and W-P went to the fourth at 37-37.
Baxter, Hernandez and Zuger combined for 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench for W-P.
"Baxter, Zuger and Hernandez helped," Scott said. "They played some very big minutes."
With 7:05 left in regulation, Bartlow finally got W-P over the hump. His two free throws gave W-P its first lead of the night at 39-37.
Baxter, who finished with 10 points, drained a jumper with 6:15 to play for a 41-37 W-P lead.
Domas, with two free throws and a bucket, got the Grizzlies even at 41-41 with 4:18 left. Strandin put Bear Creek up 43-41 with a tip-in of a Domas miss with 2:45 to go.
Wooderchak hit a 3 to put W-P on top 44-43 with 2:32 left.
Bear Creek got the lead back on two free throws with 1:11 left.
Bartlow drained a trey and W-P led 47-45 with 55 seconds left.
On the ensuing Grizzly possession, Peterson found Strandin on a back-door cut for a tie at 47-all with 30 seconds left.
W-P held for the last shot, but Strandin blocked it and the game went to overtime.
"We had a huge third quarter and a huge fourth quarter," Scott said. "Had a four-point lead and the ball, and had a turnover that costs us two points. We missed the front end of a 1-and-1. We had one possession to stop them to win. We couldn't get it done, as they had a back-door cut and got a lay in."
Strandin owned the overtime as he scored the last seven points, two coming on a tip-in of his own miss, and W-P couldn't get anything to fall going 0-for-10 from the field in OT.
Strandin finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies, and co-post Domas added 15 points and 11 boards.
"Those two big boys (Strandin and Domas), when they get their hands on a rebound, it's theirs," Scott said. "They are strong, big kids. We didn't have an answer for them, except to try and keep it out of their hands. Then they started giving it to them out on top and having them drive, and that hurt us."
Bartlow lead W-P with 14 points and 11 boards. Wooderchak chipped in nine and T.J. Hofer added four assists.
"It's disappointing," Scott said of the loss. "You can't fault the effort. And that was a heck of a team we lost to.
"If we put forth this effort that we put forth today (Thursday), we'll get a ‘W' tomorrow (against Lake Roosevelt)," Scott said. "Our goal is hardware and if we win tomorrow (today), we've got hardware."
Bear Creek 58, Waitsburg-Prescott 47
BEAR CREEK (58) - Rongve 1-6 2-2 5, Luenberger 0-3 0-0 0, Blankenbeckler 1-7 0-1 3, Peterson 4-16 2-2 10, Domas 3-6 9-12 15, DiGenova 1-4 0-0 2, Strandin 6-14 6-8 18, Fernandez 2-3 1-1 5. Totals 18-60 20-26 58.
WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (47) - Estes 0-0 0-0 0, Hofer 1-8 0-0 2, Cady 1-7 3-5 5, Zuger 1-3 0-0 2, Hernandez 1-2 1-2 3, Bartlow 4-20 3-4 14, Brock 0-0 0-0 0, Wooderchak 3-10 0-0 9, Beasley 0-0 0-0 0, Brannock 0-3 0-0 0, Baxter 4-5 1-2 10, Hamilton 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 15-60 10-15 47.
BC 18 9 10 10 11 - 58
W-P 10 11 16 10 0 - 47
3-pt goals - BC 2-17 (Rongve 1-3, Leuenberger 0-2, Blankenbeckler 1-4, Peterson 0-5, DiGenova 0-3); W-P 7-30 (Hofer 0-4, Cady 0-1, Zuger 0-2, Bartlow 3-12, Wooderchak 3-8, Brannock 0-2, Baxter 1-1). Total fouls - BC 15, WP 18. Fouled out - W-P (Cady). Technicals - none. Rebounds - BC 51 (Strandin 20), W-P 45 (Bartlow 11). Turnovers - BC 10, W-P 14. Assists - BC 8 (DiGenova 3), W-P 11 (Hofer 4).