KENNEWICK - Too much of post player Daniel Simon and a balanced scoring attack helped the Bellevue Bulldogs overpower the Walla Walla Community College Warriors here Saturday night, 70-61, in an opening-round NWAACC Tournament men's basketball game at the Toyota Center.
Simon scored 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field and snared 10 rebounds.
"Daniel was a great high school player and is a lower Division I college player," WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said. "He had a great game."
Bellevue's scoring attack consisted of nine players, almost all of them attacking the hoop and getting to the free throw line. The Bulldogs left the door open throughout the game by missing 18-of-36 free throws.
The Warriors only hit 3-of-9 freebies.
"They are so athletic on the dribble drive, and they have just enough guys to step up and hit the jumper," Reinland said. "You can't sag off them."
The early going of the game was fast and furious with back and forth action, and was deadlocked at 8-8 at the 17-minute mark of the first half.
After that, WWCC's inside scoring threat and top rebounder, Aaron Corsi, exited the game with two quick fouls.
Corsi would fight foul trouble and an injured ankle the rest of the game. WWCC was left with just one main post player, Dallen Bills, who didn't score in the contest.
"I think Corsi might be done for the year," Reinland said. "His ankle is swelled up pretty bad. Funny things happen sometimes, though, and he might wake up (Sunday) with his ankle feeling better."
Without Corsi for much of the game, WWCC was outrebounded 44-28, 16-5 on the offensive boards.
"They're (BCC) huge and our best rebounder, Corsi, couldn't contribute much," Reinland said. "We only had a bunch of guards and Dallen (Bills) and Aaron to begin with. Then Aaron went down and that really hurt."
In Corsi's absence, three Warriors scored in double figures. Jason Smith had 16 points, Dustin Moore added 14, and Ryan Schultz chipped in with 12.
The Warriors bombed away from downtown, attempting 27 shots from behind the arc and making 10.
Simon had 10 points by the ten-minute mark of the first half.
A 17-7 Bulldog run shattered a tie game after Corsi's departure.
Corsi returned at the eight-minute mark, but was ineffective.
Bellevue led by 10, 36-26, at half.
A 5-0 run from BCC to open the second half pushed the lead to 15 and the biggest lead of the game would swell to 19 points before the Warriors posted a run of their own to make it close at the end.
A barrage of made 3-pointers by WWCC cut the lead to seven with eight-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game.
Shots from downtown by Jordan Steele, Dustin Moore and Smith - sandwiched around a three-point play by Michael Crane - cut deep into the lead. It was 53-45 after the Warrior run.
The Warriors could get no closer than six the rest of the game.
"In basketball," Reinland said, "you're not always going to win. We played a good game. We need to move on from this loss and play a good game (Sunday)."
The Warriors will play a 10 p.m. elimination game today against the loser of Saturday's late game between Pierce and Linn-Benton. The final score of the Pierce-Linn-Benton game was not available at press time.
Bellevue 70, WWWCC 61
WWCC (61)- Crane 4-6 0-1 8, Arias 0-0 0-0 0, Payne 0-7 0-0 0, Bills 0-0 0-0 0, Schultz 5-11 2-6 12, Smith 6-14 0-0 16, Moore 5-6 0-0 14, Corsi 1-3 0-0 2, Steele 1-5 0-0 3, Stannard 2-3 1-2 6. Totals 24-55 3-9 61.
BCC (70) - Gonzalez 3-7 0-0 6, Searles 2-3 0-2 4, Humphrie 2-5 3-5 8, Valentine 0-3 2-2 2, Nelson 1-4 3-4 5, Clarington 4-13 6-9 15, Landry 1-1 1-2 3, Love 2-6 3-6 7, Simon 10-13 0-6 20. Totals 25-55 18-36 70.
Halftime score - BCC 36 , WWCC 26. 3-point goals - WWCC 10-29 (Smith 4-11, Moore 4-5, Steele 1-4, Stannard 1-2, Payne 0-7), BCC 2-9 (Searles 0-1, Humphrie 1-2, Valentine 0-3, Clarington 1-3). Total Fouls - WWCC 23, BCC 15. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WWCC 28 (Smith 5), BCC 44 (Simon 10). Assists - WWCC 14 (Schultz 6), BCC 10 (Gonzales 5). Turnovers - WWCC 16, BCC 14.