WALLA WALLA - After nearly shooting itself out of the game in the third quarter, Waitsburg-Prescott turned the tables on Tri-Cities Prep in the fourth period of Saturday afternoon's Southeast 2B District boys basketball game at Sherwood Center on the Whitman College campus.
Justin Zuger nailed a pair of long field goals - one of them a 3-pointer - and fed fellow senior Dustin Wooderchak for a layin to ignite a 12-2 offensive burst and close out a 37-27 victory over the Jaguars that assured W-P of a berth in next weekend's regional tournament at Wa-Hi.
Waitsburg-Prescott will play for the district championship Monday night at Sherwood Center to determine seeding into the regional tournament.
"Justin made two big plays for us back-to-back," W-P coach T.J. Scott said of Zuger. "First he found Wooderchak for the layin, then he hit the 3-pointer that gave us a little breathing room down the stretch. That was huge for us."
Zach Bartlow's basket at the buzzer boosted W-P to a 23-15 halftime lead. But Waitsburg-Prescott was just 1-for-15 from the field in a dismal third period as the Jaguars rallied to tie the game at 25-25.
"That's our lowest point total for a quarter this season, I can tell you that for sure," said Scott, who said he wasn't sure if it was his team's poorest shooting quarter of the year. "We were settling for a lot of 3-point shots - 4-for-28 for the game."
Tri-Cities Prep took a 26-25 lead when Evan Whitsett hit the back end of a two-shot free-throw opportunity in the first minute of the fourth quarter. But the Jaguars, in an unintended imitation of W-P's third-quarter futility, were 1-for-15 from the field over the final eight minutes of play, and that proved to be too much to overcome.
Bartlow drained a 17-footer with 6:06 remaining to put W-P back in front. Then it was Zuger's turn to shine as he pumped in a jumper from just inside the arc, found Wooderchak at the rim and then stroked his dagger 3 with 1:30 to play.
Bartlow finished it off with a three-point play - a layin and a free throw - with an even minute to play for the final 10-point margin of victory.
On a night when the two teams combined to shoot just five free throws, W-P was 16-for-65 (25 percent) from the field and Tri-Cities Prep was 11-for-57 (19 percent). Of course, that meant that there were plenty of rebounds available, and W-P owned the glass 53-43, with Bartlow banging for 18 boards on his own.
"It was a sloppy game," Scott said. "Considering how physical a game it was, it's surprising how few fouls were called and not many free throws attempted.
"I guess the officials just decided to let things go," he added. "But it was fair. They called it the same both ways."
Bartlow also led W-P in scoring with 14 points, although it took 22 shots from the field to account for his six field goals. Dalton Estes scored three of his four field goals in the first quarter and finished the night with nine points.
Evan Whitsett led the Jaguars with 15 points. But like Bartlow, he needed a plethora of shots, 23 in all, to accrue six makes. Bailey Rivas contributed nine points and Jameson Pedersen picked off a game-high seven rebounds.
Waitsburg-Prescott takes a 13-7 record into Monday night's championship game. Tri-Cities Prep finished its season with an 8-14 record.
Waitsburg-Prescott 37, Tri-Cities Prep 27
WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (37) - Eastman 0-5 0-0 0, D. Estes 4-8 0-0 9, Brown 0-5 0-0 0, Lanning 1-2 0-0 3, Zuger 2-9 0-0 5, Bartlow 6-22 1-1 14, Wooderchak 3-12 0-0 6, Leroue 0-2 0-0 0, E. Estes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-65 1-1 37.
TRI-CITIES PREP (27) - Perez 0-9 1-2 1, Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Rivas 4-11 0-0 9, Pedersen 0-5 0-0 0, Whitsett 6-23 1-2 15, Ver Steeg 0-1 0-0 0, Westerfield 1-7 0-0 2. Totals 11-57 2-4 27
Waitsburg-Prescott 14 9 2 12 - 37
Tri-Cities Prep 10 5 10 3 - 27
3-point goals - W-P (D. Estes, Lanning, Zuger, Bartlow), TCP (Rivas, Whitsett 2). Total fouls - W-P 9, TCP 9. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - W-P 53 (Bartlow 18), TCP 43 (Pedersen 7), Turnovers - W-P 19, TCP 14.
WALLA WALLA - Dayton's Garett Turner led all scorers with 19 points in a 67-53 victory over the Walla Walla Valley Academy Knights here Saturday night in a 2B district loser-out game at Whitman College on George Ball court.
Dayton faces Waitsburg-Prescott Monday in the tournament championship. Regardless of Monday's match both teams will move on to the regional tournament.
"Now it is on to seeding for regionals against Waitsburg-Prescott on Monday," Dayton coach Roy Ramirez said. "We have beat W-P twice this season and lost one. It should be another really close game like it always has been."
Turner's fellow guard Hayden Fullerton pumped in 15 points including two 3-pointers and post Kroft Sunderland added 14 points to go with 10 boards.
Dayton post Joey Sclachter had eight points and five rebounds.
WWVA's senior Daniel Lomeland and junior point guard Matt Moore had 16 points apiece. Lomeland had a team-high seven boards.
The Knights knocked down eight 3-pointers as a team, two by Lomeland and Moore each.
"Lomeland will be graduating - he's a very good player for us - and Moore is getting to be one of the better players in 2B boys basketball," WWVA coach Scott Wagner said.
WWVA's Alex Wagner hit three from behind the arc and finished with nine points.
Dayton's frontcourt asserted itself early.
Schlacter scored six points in the first half alone and Sutherland added eight before intermission to give the Bulldogs a 31-26 lead at the half.
"We had good post play early," Ramirez said, "We came out and did a good job underneath. It kept us in the game in the first half and WWVA came out shooting the ball really well in the first half."
In the second half, however, it was Dayton's guards that set the tone.
"In the second half, our guards played well while the posts were double teamed," Ramirez said. "Hayden hit a couple of big 3s and Garett started going to the hole."
Turner had 13 points in the second half, six in the fourth quarter.
Fullerton hit his two 3s in the third quarter and had 10 points in the second half.
"Dayton is a very good team," Wagner said. "Very experienced and the key was probably under the boards. Dayton rebounded really well and we couldn't get our second shots to fall that we needed. Dayton played tough D and they did a great job on us."
The Bulldogs outrebounded WWVA 32-20 and Dayton pulled down fourteen boards in the fourth quarter alone.
Both teams had 12 turnovers. Dayton also shared the ball better, scoring 13 assists to WWVA's four.
"We would have liked to play better defense,but WWVA just shot well and we got the win anyhow," Ramirez said.
Dayton's record is now 21-1; WWVA finishes the season with a 13-9 record.
"I'm proud of the way these guys got better all year," Wagner said. "I thought we finished it pretty strong and now we start thinking about next year."
Dayton 67, Walla Walla Valley Academy 53
WWVA (53) - Flegel 1 0-0 2, Moore 6 2-4 16, Lomeland 6 2-3 16, Hanson 2 0-0 5, Wagner 3 0-0 9. Schutte 3 0-0 6, Lindsey 0 0-0 0, Cosaert 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-7 53.
DAYTON (67) - Bickelhaupt 0 2-4 2, Schlacter 4 0-0 8, Fullerton 6 0-3 15, Turner 7 2-6 19, Sutherland 6 2-2 14, Ramirez 1 0-0 3, Frame 3 0-0 6. Totals 27 6-15 67.
WWVA 14 12 17 10 - 53
Dayton 18 13 23 13 - 67
3-point goals - WWVA 8 (Hanson, Moore 2, Lomeland 2, Wagner 3), Day 4 (Ramirez, Fullerton 2, Turner). Total fouls - WWVA 18, Day 11. Fouled out - WWVA (Hanson). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WWVA 20 (Lomeland 7), 32 (Sutherland 10). Turnovers - WWVA 12, Dayton 12. Assists - WWVA 4, Day 13.