KENNEWICK - "We played as bad as we possibly could have," Walla Walla Community College men's basketball coach Jeff Reinland said, "and we still had a chance to win in the end."
The final score was 76-69 as Linn-Benton's Roadrunners rolled over the Warriors late Sunday night at the Toyota Center in a loser's- out consolation bracket of the NWAACC Championships.
A very cold shooting night for the Warriors made it difficult to compete, let alone win. Walla Walla shot just 34.2 percent from the field and heaved up 38 3-pointers, making just seven - 18.4 percent.
"They let us shoot from the perimeter," Reinland said. "They didn't guard us. We just didn't have the right guys shooting, or the guys that normally make shots, didn't tonight."
Linn-Benton got out to a 7-0 start in the first three minutes and led throughout the game.
The Warriors missed on their first four shots before Jay Payne hit a driving lay-up to make it 7-2.
At the 14 minute mark, it was 17-6 Roadrunners.
Mac Stannard stole a front-court pass and converted a fastbreak lay-up with Ryan Schulz scooping in a lay-up, to try to keep the Warriors within striking distance.
Next, Payne hit a 3 from the right arc to close the lead to eight at 17-9.
A jumper from the right side from Jason Smith and a bomb from him from downtown, sandwiched around a hoop by the Roadrunners, made it 19-14 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Then the Warriors' trouble started.
Linn-Benton went on a 14-2 run to increase the lead to 33-16.
The Roadrunners ran away from the Warriors with a combination of free throws, jumpers and drives to the hoop.
Towards the end of the Roadrunners' run, tempers ran high. Warrior Colton Arias was knocked down at one end of the floor on offense and received a technical foul for jawing with the referees while on defense.
Soon after the technical on Arias, Reinland received one of his own.
After the technicals and ensuing foul shots, the Warriors started pumping in the shots from outside and went on a 14-6 run to close the half.
Jordan Steele hit a trey from behind the arc, Crane drove to the hoop, Moore hit two treys and Smith bombed one away to cap the run going into intermission.
The halftime score was 39-30 Linn-Benton.
The Roadrunners lead swayed back and forth in the second half, as Schultz was seemingly the only answer that the Warriors had to Linn-Benton's offensive attack.
Schulz scored 21 of his game-high 25 total points in the second stanza.
The sizable Roadrunner lead was cut to four at the eight-minute mark, and then three with six and a half minutes left.
But they could get no closer, as 16 turnovers and poor offensive execution plagued WWCC.
"We had so many unforced mistakes," Reinland said. "Not executing the offense was also a problem."
In other second-round games Sunday, Big Bend downed Highline in overtime, 84-81; Yakima Valley held off Chemeketa, 84-78; Clark hand Skagit Valley a 77-65 defeat; Spokane handled Clackamas, 76-69; it took three overtimes, but Pierce edged Bellevue, 92-91; Peninsula beat Tacoma, 63-57 and Whatcom had little trouble with Mount Hood, 78-60.
"Overall, I'm really disappointed with the this year's tournament showing," he said. "I'm the most disappointed that I've ever been in my life while coaching basketball.
"We had our chances, we just couldn't hit enough of the big shots and that has been the story all year long for this team."
Linn-Benton 76, WWCC 69
Linn-Benton (76) - Roos 4-11 13-17 21, Kruesi, M. 5-12 2-3 14, Hull 2-2 1-2 5, Kirkwood 3-12 0-0 6, Christensen 1-3 0-2 3, Wolf 2-4 0-0 5, Chambers 0-2 0-0 0, Kruesi, K. 1-1 0-0 2, Bansemer 1-3 4-6 6, Yundt 2-4 2-4 6, Garlington 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 25-61 22-34 76.
WWCC (69) - Crane 2-6 0-0 4, Arias 2-5 0-0 4, Payne 2-12 0-0 5, Bills 1-2 0-0 2, Schulz 10-17 5-5 25, Smith 4-18 7-8 18, Moore 2-5 0-0 6, Steele 1-2 0-0 3, Stannard 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 25-73 12-13 69.
3-point goals - L-B 4-14 (Roos 0-5, Kruesi, M. 2-4, Christensen 1-3, Wolf 1-2), WWCC 7-38 (Smith 3-14, Crane 0-3, Arias 0-1, Payne 1-8, Schultz 0-1, Moore 2-5, Steele 1-2, Stannard 0-4). Total fouls - L-B 12, WWCC 24. Fouled out - WWCC (Schultz). Technical fouls - L-B (Kirkwood), WWCC (bench, Arias). Rebounds - L-B 45 (Garlington 11), WWCC 45 (Schultz 9). Assists - L-B 12 (Kirkwood 4), WWCC 18 (Moore 7). Turnovers - L-B 13, WWCC 16.