ROSEBURG, Ore. — A nine-day break for the holidays couldn’t come at a better time as far as Walla Walla Community College men’s basketball coach Jeff Reinland is concerned.
The injury-depleted Warriors outlasted Blue Mountain 110-104 in overtime here Sunday in the third-place game at the Umpqua crossover tournament, then went their separate ways to spend Christmas with their families.
“We’ll get back together Dec. 26th,” Reinland said after watching his squad fight off fatigue and the stubborn Timberwolves for their fifth victory of the season against four defeats.
“We’ll practice the 26th and the 27th and then head for Oregon City and the Clackamas tournament that begins on the 28th. But for right now, we’re glad for the time off. We need it.”
Reinland opted to begin the season with an 11-player roster while redshirting a half a dozen others. But 6-foot-10 center Morgan Scharf of Davenport, Wash., hasn’t seen the floor so far this season because of what has been diagnosed as a possible broken foot. And Caleb Bravard, a 6-7 forward from Colfax and one of the team’s top returning players, left Saturday night’s semifinal against Peninsula just three minutes into the game with a similar foot injury and he was sidelined for the remainder of the tournament.
“That left us pretty thin,” Reinland said, noting that guards Dylan Radliff and Case Rada and forward Jake Hight all played in excess of 40 minutes in Sunday’s game against Blue Mountain.
“We’re pretty injury depleted, and it’s been a tough nine games so far,” Reinland said. “We’re not sure about the extent of Scharf’s injury, we’re not sure we will have him at all this season.
“We’re not sure about Bravard, either. Hopefully it’s not a major thing. We don’t think it is, and we are hoping we will have him back.
“Case Rada has a sore knee as well,” Reinland added. “Hopefully the nine days off will give us the chance to heal up some.”
Regardless of what happens, Reinland said he wasn’t tempted to activate any of his redshirt players.
“This far into the season, it just wouldn’t be worth it,” he said. “We will stick with what we have. There just aren’t enough games left to ask someone to blow off an entire season.”
Sunday’s game was a see-saw affair that saw the Warriors build a six-point lead late in the first half only to have Blue Mountain finish on a 12-0 run for a 44-38 halftime edge. Walla Walla rebuilt its lead to five points in the second half, then fell behind by eight points and had to fight back and force overtime.
Radliff sank a 3-point basket at the buzzer to knot the score at 96-all and force the extra period.
The Warriors led by five points in overtime when Radlif connected again from outside the arc for an eight-point lead. From that point on, Walla Walla protected the victory at the free-throw line where the Warriors were 35-for-40 for the game.
Radliff’s two clutch 3-pointers were his only treys of the game, but he still led all scorers with 40 points. Rada was 4-for-11 from beyond the arc and scored 31 points for WWCC and Hunter Hahn and Jake Hight finished with 14 points each. Hight also led Warrior rebounders with nine.
Darius Batler led Blue Mountain with 39 points, Jaquan Coleman and Tyler Adams added 17 points each and Dylan Martin was a fourth Timberwolf in double figures with 13 points. Martin also snagged a game-high 10 rebounds.
“We gave up a lot of points and obviously didn’t play very good defense,” Reinland said. “At the same time, we scored a lot of points.
“We put a lot of energy into Saturday’s semifinal game against Peninsula and I didn’t think we played with a lot of juice on Sunday.”
The Penguins defeated the Warriors 91-82 in Saturday’s semifinals and then went on to win the tournament with an 84-62 victory over Edmonds in Sunday’s championship game.
“Peninsula is good, and we were the only team in the tournament to give them a game,” Reinland said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Peninsula win the NWAACC this year.”
WALLA WALLA 110, BLUE MOUNTAIN 104
WALLA WALLA (110) — Bravard 0-0 0-0 0 Radliff 10-24 10-10 40, Rada 8-23 11-12 31, Mills 2-5 1-1 5, Reich 0-3 0-0 0, Hahn 6-12 1-3 14, Harr 0-3 4-4 4, Hight 3010 8-10 14, Mortenson 0-1 0-0 0, Nooner 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 34-82 35-40 110.
BLUE MOUNTAIN (104) — Butler 14-31 11-17 39, Martin 5-12 3-5 13, Coleman 6-14 5-7 17, Randall 1-1 1-1 4, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Kiser 0-0 0-0 0, Hoisington 1-3 0-0 2, Adams 5-19 2-2 17, Walker 2-4 2-2 6, Owens 3-6 0-1 6. Totals 37-90 24-35 104.
Halftime — BMCC 44, WWCC 38, Regulation — WWCC 96, BMCC 96. 3-point goals — WWCC 7-23 (Radliff 2-5, Rada 4-11, Reic 0-2, Hahn 1-3, Harr 0-2), BMCC 6-23 (Butler 0-4, Martin 0-2, Randall 1-1, Adams 5-16). Total fouls — WWCC 26, BMCC 23. Fouled out — WWCC (Mills). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — WWCC 54 (Hight 9), BMCC 53 (Martin 10). Turnovers — WWCC 12, BMCC 11. Assists — BMCC 8 (Coleman 5), WWCC 6 (Radliff 2).